©Wolfgang Kaehler

Iceland 2017 Photo Tour, Day 3

By Michelle Alten

Alaskan lupines


Today we venture to two stunning waterfall sights—Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss.  At Seljalandsfoss a series of falls tumble over the lush green hillsides then turn to streams, wandering between grasses and delicate buttercups.  Fulmars, pristine white seabirds, nest on ledges, and a group of determined sheep peer down on us from a lofty cave.  I wonder what they are thinking as they watch this colorful and busy group of photographers.   At lunch time at Anna’s restaurant, horses graze in a nearby meadow, and a woman on horseback trots by.  Stunning Northern terns, with their black crests and forked tails, nest on the ground between grasses and blossoms.



Northern fulmar flying in front of Skogafoss


Across the road from Skogafoss we stop to photograph fields of violet lupines.  I listen to the chatter of a snipe that perches in the brush.  When we come to the waterfall, I find Skogafoss even more dramatic than this morning’s stop. The volume of water vaulting over the rocks is astounding.  Where does it all go?  More Northern fulmars nest in the rocks alongside the falls.  The drama of the landscape continues to build throughout the day.

View from Dyrholaey


After a visit to Skogasafn Museum, where sod-roofed houses built of stone give a taste of the rugged life Icelanders led in the past, we head to the dramatic cliffs of Dyrholaey, the southern-most point of Iceland.  The basalt cliffs towering above the sea, a black beach and sweeping green meadows below, and glacier-covered peaks in the distance, create a setting that could be a Lord of the Ring’s scene.  Below the ocean has sculpted a great gateway from the basalt, and in the distance another formation resembles a medieval castle crumbling into the surf.  Lilliputian pink blossoms of moss campion adorn rocks while another flower, rose root, pushes its way between cracks in the stone. Nearby a nesting Fulmar peers at us with her deep charcoal eyes.  At Reynisfjara beach the basalt rock formations edge the black strand.  It is evening and the cold wind makes me find my way to our little bus, but these coastal cliffs and beaches are certainly the climax of the day.

moss campion and rose root


Day 3 Birds-Northern fulmar, Redshank, Phalaropes, Snipes, Oystercatcher, Wimbrel, Atlantic puffin

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