It’s not altitude or water that make the difference between life (note the three sheep) …
… and barren land. One is scarcely higher above the sea than the other, and the one below is further south, in Siglifjörður.
It’s just plain mysterious.
The Arctic Tern, Sterna Paradisaea, more lovingly known by its piercing cry, Skría, makes any visit to North Iceland a treat in the summer.
They go right for your scalp, screaming. The trick is not to duck but to hold a stick above your head, the Icelander’s say, which is fine and beautiful advice …
… in a land without trees. I think this is why rams have horns. Just a guess.
Iceland was settled by people of the North Atlantic. If you got there early, you got one of the choicest spots. Here on the Skagaströnd in the far north, that is abundantly clear.
Even the sheep, grazing at the foot of an old elf fortress, know as much.
And a good place for landing the longboat, too.
An old turf-roofed sheep barn is, to them, still a turf-roofed sheep barn.
If that sounds like an extraordinary sense of memory, think of this: people keep it around, too.
So, you start off with a sheep. Seems simple enough.
But then you want it to be pink. And natural. What to do?
It is all about place, month and the time of day.
Late October, 7:40 a.m., at Skogar.
Simple as that.
Sheep are not tall.
They let rocks make them tall, but they’re rather squat.
This is because the tall ones blew out to sea.
The rest thrive, sturdily. The one above was made in a 130 km/h blast out of the mountains of North Snæfellsnes.
It’s not about fences, see.
That was a fun idea, very modern, very worldly, but, you know, weird. Better to let sleeping fences lie and go out on the sheep trails.
Everything is a sheep trail. That’s because sheep own Iceland.
Right, as for fences. The same goes for gates. Best to leave weird foreign stuff like that open, so that what wants to go through can go through.
You never know.
Oh, wait, yes you do.