The newest shoot of grass growing on a bit of volcanic wasteland for the first time ever in the history of the world, that’s the one that tastes best to a sheep, and they will risk life and hoof to get it.
Marauders in Stekkalækur
They’re Icelandic, hence very independent. No sherpas needed.
Be quick. You have competition.
Bilberries in Seydisfjörður
Look closely now!
Iceland’s Secret Bilberry Team
Count the legs. Very secret work!
What, you didn’t think they ate grass, did you? In this rain? The Icelandic summer has to have some perks!
Well, the very first blade of the very first grass to ever grow on a steep, eroding slope, that’s what. Mmmm.
It’s self-defeating, but, oh my, it tastes so good.
Moss eats rock.
Sheep hooves cut moss.
That’s right, look the other way.
Welcome to the Black Falls, Svartifoss.
I really think no words have ever been created for this, but talking around its edges for weeks would be enjoyable. I think the lichen gets it.
I know the raven does.
Don’t expect your tour operator to tell you about this. It’s not a human thing, and it’s their job to be a good host and look after your bodily comforts. Bodily discomforts, well, that’s for you to find out on your own.
It is not a human world.
When cliff faces are too cold, lichen can do just fine by growing in a tension with heat conserving mosses.
But tufts of arctic grass gnawed to mounds by sheep work just as well. Look how purslane, grass, moss and lichens all work together to create a balanced environment, conserving heat, gathering rain, relatively impervious to sheep, and even collecting soil ot of the wind. Clumps like these, and there are billions of them in Iceland, are like reefs on a continental shelf, or miniature planets in the cold of space. The missing co-conspirators? Ah…