Thursday, July 23, 2015

Last Icelandic Blog -Husavik Fishing Village, Puffins, and Horses

This young lad was watching the fishing boats arrive and chewing on what looked to be a pickle.

The private boats left the harbor at midnight and returned between 2 and 3 pm.  Their catch had to be weighed before 5 pm.   Many of the boats looked to be well used wooden hull boats.  Some were more modern fiberglass models.  Most were about 35 feet long and had only one fisherman on board.  The older boats had a captain and a mate.

The most valuable fish is haddock, followed by cod, and then snapper. Every skipper came in with several boxes of fish.  There are shops in town that hire folks to bait the fishing lines with herring. The fisherman then collect the boxes of baited lines and hopes he comes in with boxes of fish.

A typical Icelandic lass checking out the day's catch.

Besides the fishing boats there were wooden sail boats and schooners in the harbor. Quite a few whale watching tours leave from Husavik.  Humpbacks and Minke Whales are common. Occasionally people see Blue Whales

Our guides gave us a choice of taking more puffin pictures or fish pictures.  Three of us headed out to shoot puffin pictures.

Puffins only have their colorful beaks during the mating season.  There as between 8 and 10 million puffins on Iceland. The puffins spend the winter on the seas. At this time their beaks are grey.

The puffins were flying very fast this day.  It was a challenge to capture a good picture.

Lighthouse on a basalt peninsula.  Wish the lighthouse was a little prettier than cigarette cartoon standing on end. 

An Arctic Tern feeding it's chick.  This chick looks to be well fed. The adult terns would dive bomb you if you walked too close to a nest.  Some times they would drop a little present.

Icelandic horses crossing a stream. There were about 40 horses in this herd.  Wish I could have gotten a picture with better separation between the horses.

These horses are beautiful.
That's all for Iceland.  I enjoyed my photo tour here.  Our tour leaders were fantastic.  Hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Iceland - Landscapes, Children, and Puffins

These Icelandic horses nicely framed a small church in the northeast highlands of Iceland.

Our cloudy weather continues.  We are in early tonight because it is raining.  We shot more puffin pictures today in a cold windy rain.  Got some great shots of flying puffins with fish and shrimp in their beaks.  Will put some of those pictures in my last blog from Iceland.

Sel old ruins on the east coast of Iceland.  While we were taking pictures here two horse came up to check out the camera equipment.  They wanted some attention.  In most locations the horses would run away as soon as we got out of the cars.

Strangest rainbows I have ever seen.  You can see the double rainbow plus another rainbow that connects the two.  Our guides had never seen this before either.

 Stapavík sea stack

We stopped at Djúpivogur fishing village to take pictures of the boats but the children playing and fishing on the docks were more interesting.  This boy caught a Koli which looks a lot like a flounder.

This boy was reaching under the dock for mussels.  They would stomp on the mussel to crack the shell and then use the meat for bait.

The mother of these two children was watching them closely. Along with their little sister these were the only children we saw with a life jacket.

Looking for fish.

I think they got tired of all of the photographers so they decided to hang out under the pier.

 Folaldafoss waterfall - There are waterfalls all over Iceland.  Many are quite large.

This waterfall and the one in the next picture are a 10 minute walk from each other.

There is still significant snow in the highlands.

 You can just make out the guest lodge we are stay at in the fog over the waterfall.  The lodge has two natural hot tubs.  One has a temperature of 100 degrees and the other is about 107 degrees. The 100 degree tub felt great. 

Horseshoe bend in a highlands stream.

One of the largest waterfalls we saw.  At the upper left you can see a photographer with his tripod.  This should give you a good sense of the scale.

I climbed down to the bottom of this waterfall.  You can see me in the lower left.  I guess I ended up in lots of photographs because it provided a good scale for the size of the waterfall.  This was my favorite waterfall.

This is the picture from the bottom.  I really like the basalt columns on the walls of the canyon.  The water was violently churning.  The noise level was extremely high from this view point.

We spent a few hours taking puffin pictures.  We rode on a wooden wagon behind a farmer's tractor to get to an bluff that was surrounded by wet lowlands.

The puffins had borrows on the top of the bluff.  They dive to fish and then bring their catch back to their babies.

They have short stubby wings so they aren't the best of flyers but it does enable them to be efficient divers.  

It was not unusual to see several fish or shrimp in their mouths.

This puffin is about to disappear into a burrow.  I thought we were lucky to see so many puffins until I found out there are millions of them on Iceland.  People use long nets on pole to catch them as they are flying by.  No they don't taste like chicken.  They taste a little fishy.  No surprise.

I hope we see some color in the sky tomorrow.  We are on the northeaster side of Iceland tonight in a fishing village.  Will have some pictures of boats and fish in the next blog.

That's all for now.  

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Iceland Blog Two

Icelandic Horse - Horses out number people in Iceland.

My second blog from Iceland.  It is almost two in the morning.  We came in early today because it was too cloudy for a sunset or sunrise.  We started the day at 6 am to shoot Puffins.  You will see Puffin pictures in the third blog.

 Seljalandsfoss - Foss is waterfall in Icelandic

Vik Church and lupines.  Every community had its own small church.  At one time the Lutheran Church owned much of Iceland. 

These icebergs calf off of a glacier at the other end of this tidal lake.  At low tide the icebergs make their way to the Atlantic ocean.  Many end up on the beach.

Setting sun at 11:30  

Beach ice pictures taken after midnight.

Taking beach ice pictures is a good way to get wet feet.  I had 15" boots on but sometimes they weren't quite tall enough.

After I took this picture I saw the face in the ice.  So I guess I will title it, 
"The Ice man of Iceland"

We shot beach ice pictures two evening in a role.This evening there was a little color in the sky.  We have not had any real sunset color since the first night.

I got too close to this Tern's next so I was getting dive bombed. The Tern's fish in the glacial lakes.  The incoming tides brings in small fish.

This is another glacial lake.

Iceland has the largest icefield in Europe.  It feeds many glaciers.

I will get out another blog in a couple of days.  We are headed back in to the highlands tomorrow and we won't have internet access.

Way past bedtime now,
goodnight.  Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Iceland Photo Tour

This is the first blog from Iceland.  I hope you enjoy the pictures.  The lupines are blooming throughout the low lands.  You could see fields of them from the airplane on final approach.

The tour began with a trip to the highlands.  The elevation here is 500 to 1000 meters.  The tallest mountain in Iceland is 2100 meters or about 7000 feet.

Our first night we shot sunset pictures and sunrise pictures from 10:30 pm until 3:30 am.  We had great skies.

Every direction you turned had a great sky and a wonderful view.

The last three pictures were shot from the same hill.  We were very fortunate because the snow just melted enough to allow the roads to open.

I walked down off of the hill to the lake to capture this picture.  Hard to image a sunset that lasted long enough to allow you to do that.

The waterfalls are running full with all of the snow melt.  This picture was taken at 3:00 am.

After sleeping to noon we got up for an afternoon shoot at these falls.  By 4:30 am the sun is too harsh for most landscape photography.

Another shot from the same location.

The following pictures are from Reykjavik and were taken on the day of arrival in Iceland.  This is the concert house.  The outside walls are hexagon glass cubes.

A view of the harbor.

Just a geometric shot.

Symbolic viking ship along the shore. The fisherman appears to have a quite large bobber.

Lief Ericsson in from of the largest church in Iceland.  Most of the structure in Iceland are built from concrete. Iceland has about 330,000 people with 200,000 plus living in the Reykjavik metro area.

The are very few trees in Iceland and the ones that are here are very short.  The running joke is, " A tourist calls and says he is lost in the forest.  The Icelandic ranger says just stand up."

We are leaving the Highlands today and headed to the coast.  Hope to issue another blog in a few days.  After Kathy reads this blog and finds all of my spelling and grammatical errors I will fix this blog.