Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

It’s an animal post!

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

1. A woman put a camera near her bird feeder and the pictures she gets are straight-up gold. Her name is Lisa M. Ca (but it should be Lisa M. CAW, amirite everyone? Hello? Anyone?). Here is a picture of her camera setup.


I think my favorites are the doves because I’m a sucker for doves (PigeonLover 4 Lyfe) but the, and I quote, “Grackle with a Snackle” is pretty great as well.

I highly recommend going to her blog and looking at all the bird pics. They drop your blood pressure really fast. So calming.

https://ostdrossel.tumblr.com/

 

2. A picture of alligators (or possibly crocodiles) in a river. With reflective eyes. I love the deep blue water and the orange retinas. Photo by David Moynahan.

 

3. I think we should return to this form of reproduction because I am 100% not feeling the “Imma rip my way out of you” technique we as humans are using now. Methinks time for an upgrade.

 

4. What my day would be like in Toyko: Wake up. Put on oven mitt. Go to squirrel park. Hang out with squirrels. Go home at night. Repeat every day following.

https://kotaku.com/inside-japanese-squirrel-gardens-yes-squirrel-gardens-1465052392

 

5. And while this isn’t technically an animal it is still nature-related so I’m putting it here. It’s a chandelier made with living algae. It helps clean the air.

Here’s an article about it. https://www.curbed.com/2017/9/27/16372820/air-purifying-plants-algae-chandelier-julian-melchiorri

Guatemala, Part 6.

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Lake Atitlan. Get ready.

But first, Antigua’s main plaza! That I forgot to add to the Antigua posts earlier! I love how there’s old ruins and new ruins and everything all sort of mooshed together.

And I only made it to the main cathedral at night so all my pictures are blurry, but here’s the best of the bunch. A beautiful building, beautifully lit.

Okay, Lake Atitlan. We stayed at a hotel with THE MOST AMAZING GARDENS EVER. The owner started them several decades before and lovingly caressed and cuddled them and now they’re mind-blowing.

You would think I had never seen a plant before in my life the way I reacted to this garden. Right outside our room there were some screamy parrots that came out of their enclosure during the day to sit in the vines and shriek violently at the guests. One was a scarlet macaw. He was extra-screamy.

And there was one tree on the far edge of the property with the most interesting pattern in its bark. I felt like I was in a werewolf movie.

And here are the closeups I took of specific plants. Fun tidbit: while taking some of these photos, The Moomins had to protect me from getting attacked by an ornery goose that lives near a small koi pond on the property. I guess I got too close to the goose’s woman and he was disgruntled. It was worth almost dying at the hand (wing?) of waterfowl because these plants were something else, I tell ya.

We went out on a tour of the lake itself. I did not know that Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of The Little Prince, crash-landed in Guatemala and saw the mountain there that inspired him to write the “draw me a sheep” portion of the book. Specifically the elephant in the snake that is mistaken for a hat. <—- That sentence sounds like I had a stroke but if you’ve read the book it makes sense I promise.

Here’s an article about Saint-Exupéry and Guatemala.

https://globalvoices.org/2008/07/11/guatemala-was-antigua-the-inspiration-for-the-little-prince/

There was also a napping volcano. Shhhhh, Volcano, everything is fine. No make ‘splosions.

Aaaaaaaand that’s pretty much the highlights from my trip. However, one of the other people on the trip, Boris (who had THE BEST Russian accent in the world) had a far superior camera and took some unbelievable pictures of birds and other beasties. He was kind enough to share them with me, and now I will share them with you.

Guatemala, Post 5.

Friday, November 17th, 2017

More Antigua! But first, other things.

We drove past a funeral. It was quite sad. A police officer had been killed. I love how the whole neighborhood showed up and was walking with the family to show support. There was also a band playing mournful walking music and I think we as a nation need to get on that.

I saw a fountain and I liked how they planted flowers birds-of-paradise flowers the fountain. Plus there was a pigeon and I am on Team Pigeon 4 Lyfe. Extremely pro-pigeon. Not ashamed of it.

Okay, so Antigua. The buildings are very short and the roads are extremely wide because if an earthquake destroys a building and it pitches forward it doesn’t knock down the building on the opposite side.

There is a former nunnery in Antigua, Convent of las Capuchinas. It cost a lot of money to become a nun and that, combined with the constant battery of earthquakes, caused the nunnery to be shut down.

The grout that holds those brick walls together was a mixture of sand, gravel and egg whites. The city apparently ran out of eggs during the construction of this building.

The wine cellar for holy ceremonial wines was build like a doughnut with a big column in the middle which is how it survived all the earthquakes. It has great acoustics so the nuns used to go down there and sing and maybe sample the wines.

And there are gardens which are beautiful. It’s not too hard to have a gorgeous garden in Antigua, I saw many of them.

As we walked along the street during the sunset on the last night we found a rooftop bar in an old mansion-type home. The fancy older buildings reminded me of Spain. They tended to have huge scary exterior walls:

And gorgeous compound-like interiors with gardens. This was no exception.

When we went up to the roof you could really appreciate how the city is nestled in between the mountains.

• | • | • | INTERMISSION | • | • | •

Dia de los Muertos-type dolls! Same store as the decorated antlered skulls. I showed restraint and did not buy them.

• | • | • | INTERMISSION OVER | • | • | •

That’s all my photos on Antigua. I only have four photos for the town of Panajachel, a town on the edge of Lake Atitlan (more about Lake Atitlan in a bit) so let’s go through those.

CHARCH! In Panajachel we visited the church. I liked the architectural style

The inside of the church looked like and upside-down boat.

And there was a nice carved monster holding up the display board in the back.

Here was the biggest surprise for me in Panajachel. Stay with me here: There is a semi-famous artist from Vienna Austria named Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928 – 2000). His artwork is extremely distinctive. It’s difficult to mistake it for someone else’s work. Here are some examples.

Which is why I was pleasantly surprised to see a rather large mural featuring some of Hundertwasser’s work in this small village in Guatemala.

Whattup, Hundy? How you doin’?

Okay, coming up next: Lake Atitlan. Get ready for the most insane plants you have ever seen.

Guatemala, Part 4.

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Antigua! A city in Guatemala with, like, 30 churches! Some are still functioning, some are only facades. Everything is protected because the whole city is a UNESCO site. Here are some of the façades. You can see there ain’t nuthin’ back there.

 

A popular motif in Antiguan churches is St. James on a horse leaping over the three giant mountains that surround the city.

Antigua has been around for almost five centuries and our guide called the prominent architecture style “Spanish seismic baroque.” As in, oh the earthquake broke this chunk of the building off, we will replace it with little to no concern to whether it matches or not. In addition, when the church insisted that the indigenous people build these new houses of worship, the people incorporated elements of their existing religion in there. For example, here is one of the most famous Antigua churches, the Iglesia de la Merced.

In my photos it looks like it’s a muddy mustard but in real life it’s a festive banana pudding color. Now, one might assume that those are grape vines on the pillars around the front door, right? Nope! Corn! It’s corn! One of the most sacred things to the Mayans!

And that four-pointed motif in the archway, that must represent the cross, right? Nope! Symbol for Mayan sun worship! Sneakin’ it all in there!

Moving on to other churches: Here is the Catedral of Antigua. Many of the hands of the outdoor sculptures are missing because of the earthquakes. I guess that’s the first part to break off.

If this is their approach to Baroque, I like it. Baroque as a design system can be a little overwhelming, especially the end of the period, known as Rococco. Here, have some examples:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rococo#/media/File:BasilikaOttobeurenHauptschiff02.JPG

https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5012/5399173556_01eeb03ca5_b.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/73/Amalienburg_Spiegelsaal-1.jpg/800px-Amalienburg_Spiegelsaal-1.jpg

http://www.macklowegallery.com/images/CMS/Glossary%20of%20Terms/Rococo.jpg

See what I mean? Lots of stuff on all the surfaces all the time. That’s why I prefer this atypical approach to Baroque. Enough stuff on some of the surfaces some of the time.

While staying in Antigua I went tot a walk down the street and came across the Iglesia de San Francisco El Grande. They have it lit beautifully at night.

Near the small side chapel door was a mosaic of a fish. I thought he looked friendly.

There was a cross sculpture in front. That’s not unusual in itself. What was unusual was the symbolism. Note the stop sign hand, the tunic, the gambling dice, and less easy to see are the ladder and blacksmithing instruments across the horizontal beam. Does anyone know why those specific things are there? If you do, let me know. I could not figure it out.

Other church-related things: The view out of the door of one of the churches.

The altar of one of the churches clearly done in Empire style, that’s Napoleon’s time (which was a rebirth of Greco-Roman style, errybody be stealin’ from errybody else):

This wall tableau of The Father, The Sun and The Holy Ghost. I loved that instead of a normal round halo, The Father has a triangle representing the all-seeing eye, the same one on our dollar bill. And please note Jesus’ halo which resembles a Mayan crown.

http://cropcircleconnector.com/images/stela1.JPG

We were there during a festival of some kind (Easter? Maybe Easter? Sure, let’s go with Easter) and the Guatemalans have a really cool way of decorating their church. They dye sawdust and using stencils they create beautiful temporary carpets on the floor.

This was a small one that SOMEONE SMUDGED UP THERE IN THE FRONT. I would be so angry if I had toiled on this carpet and someone let their dog or kid mess up my work. I wouldn’t kick a dog or a kid but I might kick the person responsible for that dog or kid.

In another church there was a far larger carpet surrounded by ripe fruit and vegetables. It smelled very, very good. Could have done without the angel lawn ornaments but it’s not my carpet or church.

Next entry: more Antigua.

Guatemala Part 3.

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Coffee beans! But first, chicken buses.

Chicken buses are one of the primary ways people get around in Guatemala. It’s called a chicken bus because people would tie baskets of chickens to the roof with the rest of their luggage. They are school buses from America that we’re done with. Guatemala buys them, paints them in the jauntiest of colors, gives it a name like “Esmerelda,” slaps some chrome and maybe some lights on there and uses them as mass transit. Not surprisingly, I loved them.

Type in “Chicken Bus Guatemala” into Google Images and scroll through that. It’s a vibrantly-festooned good time.

Coffee beans! I went to a coffee plantation in Costa Rica and a lot of the information is the same concerning how the plant grows and how its harvested, etc. Here’s a link to that:

http://design-newyork.com/blog/2012/02/28/costa-rica-2012-part-7/

Here is the enormous cement area where the coffee beans are spread out to dry.

Here are the beans dry before roasting.

These are coffee bean plants and a little pollinating bee. You go, bee! I’m proud of you.

 

Would you like to see the scariest roasting machine ever? Here ya go. If someone wheeled that into a room where I was being held captive I would immediately start spilling state secrets.

Teeniest church ever on the coffee plantation. Fits four parishioners max.

And gorgeous plants all over the property, especially the striped boo.

In the main house the owner had some coffee-oriented items. There was a collection of spoons.

And cups.

And a coffee advertisement from 1657. It looked like an olde versionne of a 1950s ad:  “Coffee puts pep in your step!”

There was a small museum on the coffee plantation. Similar to Mexico (which is not surprising since they share a big ole border) Guatemala uses those lovely paper-cut decorations on their ceilings.

And also, not surprisingly, there’s a whole bunch of spiritual non-Christian religious traditions that are still practiced. Here is a small costume worn in a ceremony. Common themes are mirrors and masks which you can see here.

There was a store in the city of Antigua (more on Antigua later) where they had a whole wall of these kinds of costumes and masks decorated with sequins and antlers. I wanted everything on that wall. It’s a good thing that place was closed most of the time because I would have laid my credit card down and asked them to fill up a truck.

While we’re here, let’s look at some random bits and pieces that relate to anything else specifically. First, geckos in light fixtures! I do love me some geckos in light fixtures.

A cemetery on a hillside. Vibrantly-painted mausoleums. I think that’s something we should adopt here, everyone should have their tomb painted the color they loved most. It tell you a little something about the deceased.

Every culture has a craft that they are excellent at. In Guatemala it’s thread-based. The embroidery / cross-stitch / loomwork / quilting / braiding is unreal in both its skill and diversity of styles. I bought some stunning bracelets using a popular pattern but different colors.

Here’s a Pinterest page that shows a pretty good sampling of the variety of threadwork. It’s pretty phenomenal.

https://www.pinterest.com/CasaAmarosa/guatemalan-embroidery/?lp=true

And here is something that made me laugh every time I saw it. In one of the hotels we stayed in there was a gift shop. No big whoop there. There was, however, a painted box on display. I assume the artist was trying to make a lovely tableau of Guatemalan items together, a themed still life. The only problem was there was an owl that looks like it had been sucker-punched in the back of the head while witnessing something profoundly traumatic. Every time I saw it I got the giggles.

Next entry: the town of Antigua.

Two artists I have been feeling lately.

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

The first one is Andreas Levers. He’s a German photographer who apparently controls the weather because all his pictures have this magical ethereal mist. I love the combination of the basic hard-lined structures that are often his subjects and the hazy light that emanates from the man-made light sources.

AndreasLevers_01 AndreasLevers_02 AndreasLevers_04 AndreasLevers_05 AndreasLevers_06 AndreasLevers_07 AndreasLevers_09

Here’s Levers’ latest collection.

http://www.96dpi.de/at-night-5

 

The second artist is Dina Brodsky. She predominantly paints tiny, exquisite landscapes with oil paints. The way she captures the essence of her subjects in the minimum of space is amazing. Dina also makes larger pieces but the small circular ones are my favorites.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 beacon_DINA-BRODSKY Boots_Dina_5-693x700 D_Brodsky_absince_937 Dina_Brodsky_Demolition_Spyhole_2014_oil_on_plexiglas_8x8 Dina_Brodsky_Subway_Ghosts_2014_oil_on_mylar_6-5x7 dina Golden_dina-699x700 IQyImps jLFuSok Lyons-Weir_Suzanne-1038x576 Pot-SungWoo-AM15 Power_Nevermore_8_diameter_oil_on_plexiglas_2014_copy_copy Screen Shot 2016-10-12 at 5.40.24 PM tumblr_nidkabI96P1tpvoj1o1_1280 tumblr_noadxrLG0x1u6sq6xo1_1280 tumblr_nrtoulIxEb1u8rtwro4_1280 tumblr_nz0fvpgBGX1qzfsnio7_r1_1280

 

Important things of importance.

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

1a. As I grow older fewer and fewer nature facts surprise me. Which is why when I saw this sassy weevil I assumed it was someone’s craft project:
17038886_10103753643964205_6803583694919446981_o

But just to make sure I did a bit of searching and no, that might be a real weevil. I found a similar one called the Polka Dotted Clown Weevil and it is covered in iridescent scales that look like scattered glitter. Why was I not informed of this awesome weevil earlier???

tumblr_nbps0gthDY1qzicj3o2_1280

1b. In keeping with the nature theme there is a man in Japan, Keita Kosoba, who breeds nudibranchs. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love nudibranchs. So many varieties of awesome! I wish I could have a tank of nudibranchs of my very own.

14430788937_2b2bb4d3a4_k 14526324882_dc1bebcc4e_k 15325449119_c52f589547_k 15325452789_6d0f8e234f_k 15325688918_376fdff973_k

 

2. I love when people take mundane elements we see all the time and interpret them and make them cool. For example, this post that is now a cow being abducted by a UFO. Excellent work, street artist.

alien-abduction

 

3. There’s a woman in the Ukraine, Yulia Kosata, who makes felted houses for cats and I think they are magnificent. Why all cats everywhere are not housed like this I do not know.

tumblr_ojqbkjLl8e1qh66wqo1_540 tumblr_ojqbkjLl8e1qh66wqo2_540 tumblr_ojqbkjLl8e1qh66wqo3_540 tumblr_ojqbkjLl8e1qh66wqo4_540 tumblr_ojqbkjLl8e1qh66wqo5_540 tumblr_ojqbkjLl8e1qh66wqo6_540 tumblr_ojqbkjLl8e1qh66wqo7_540 tumblr_ojqbkjLl8e1qh66wqo8_540 tumblr_ojqbkjLl8e1qh66wqo9_540 tumblr_ojqbkjLl8e1qh66wqo10_540

 

4. What steel droplets look like when they cool.

steel-droplets

 

5. And a fun one-type-of-music to another-type-of-music site that you might enjoy.

Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 3.23.26 AM

Addendum: Here’s another nature thing: Look at these pictures of this fairy wren makin’ snuggles with other birds.

cuddling

Why are they cuddling? I mean, I know why I would cuddle them (so cute!) but I’m sure they have a different reason. I couldn’t find the precise reason but I did find out these neat facts.

Non-breeding males, females and juveniles are predominantly grey-brown in color; this gave the early impression that males were polygamous, as all dull-colored birds were taken for females.

Like other fairy-wrens, the superb fairy-wren is notable for several peculiar behavioral characteristics; the birds are socially monogamous and sexually promiscuous, meaning that although they form pairs between one male and one female, each partner will mate with other individuals and even assist in raising the young from such pairings. Male wrens pluck yellow petals and display them to females as part of a courtship display.

Warning: It’s gonna get disgusting.

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

But not too much. We’re going to dance around the disgusting, hint at it, and then dart away quickly. You’ll be fine.

First, an inevitability has happened. I have found the only animal that grosses me so much I had to look away from the television. Let me explain what it is before I show it to you. It’s a plaque of barnacles that fell off of a pier or a boat and the living barnacles are opening and closing their front door which looks like a cat’s nictitating eyelid (already gross) and then instead of an eyeball being in there fingers come out. FINGERS COME OUT OF THE EYELID HOLES OF THINGS CLUSTERED ON A BLOB THAT LOOKS LIKE NEW YORK STREET GARBAGE. Nightmares for life. You ready? Here we go.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmfohJ7wMZA

10632615_10205012089039050_7899087754041843610_n

Second thing, I have a good old-fashioned stomach virus. I haven’t had one of these in twenty years! So exciting! They are pretty much how I remember from my youth. Someone I did not remember: vague hallucinating. Nothing drastic but juuuuuust enough to remind you of your unwell state, similar of how people describe pot (“Did you ever really look at your palm, man? I mean, really look?”). Two instances that happened today:

  1. When I was in the shower I realized I was doing that owl motion where your head moves back and forth, back and forth. Because I had just realized, guys, items in the foreground move more than items in the background! Trippy! And I probably should not have been showering without supervision! https://media.tenor.co/images/7f4af3eff9fe127d0bb3bdb41c08206c/raw
  2. I looked at the toilet paper roll packaging and it said “double roll” but I read it as “death roll” which made me think of crocodiles and how they kill their prey and then I might have dozed off on the can for ten or fifteen minutes. This has not been a day of peak excellence.

But I’m healing and soon I will be no longer infectious and that will be nice. Until then, Gatorade and Tums are my best buddies.

Iceland Part 8, More Reykjavik. NSFW.

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

You wanted to learn about a dick museum? Well, it’s your lucky day!

But first, a dick-free portion.

The Icelandic language looks like old, old, old, OLD English. Like Very First English. But you can see the similarities between the two languages.

geothermal-bakery9 geothermal-bakery13

Look at this fun poster encouraging Icelanders to learn French! I took this mainly for the sheep’s face.

fun-sign

Palate cleanser over. You prepared? Here we go.

phallic-museum1

The Phallological Museum of Iceland is very small; It’s one room and it very clearly was started by one exceptionally creepy man who loved man junk and collected all the options. One day he said to himself, “Hey, Creepy Guy, I should make money by sharing this with the world,” and so he has. The first thought that comes to mind is “variety”. The second thought is “pickled naked mole rat” because dismembered genitals sitting in jars do not look their best. Let’s visit, shall we?

We got some horse dick:

phallic-museum2

Elephant and whale dick:

phallic-museum17

Big dicks, small dicks:

phallic-museum14 phallic-museum13 phallic-museum4

Super teeny tiny dicks:

phallic-museum16

Edible cured dick:

phallic-museum15

Tired of side dick? How about straight-on dick?

phallic-museum10

A goat head with no dicks in proximity and all the explanations were in Icelandic so no clue what’s going on here:

phallic-museum12

Dicks as planters and scrotums as light fixtures because why should these dead animals have any dignity:

phallic-museum11 phallic-museum7 phallic-museum8 phallic-museum9

Dick bones (most mammals have them):

phallic-museum3

And then people stuff. The people stuff bothered me a bunch. It felt very, “Heheheh, people are gonna be looking at my twigs n’ berries, look at ’em, yeah.” I felt like I was an unwilling participant in someone’s fetish. Therefore I will spare you a picture of the 95-year-old-man to donated his genitals and they are on display. If you want to know what they looked like, think of whatever you think a 95-year-old man’s genitals would look like. There you go. I did like the metal casts of the entire Icelandic handball team.

phallic-museum6

You get the gist. Are we good? Do we feel like I covered this? Excellent. Moving on.

The docks! Cricket and I went to the docks. Not surprisingly as Iceland is a seafaring nation. At the Maritime Museum we got to take a tour of a boat used in the Cod Wars. I did not mistype. The Cod Wars was about fishing rights around England and Iceland. No one died but many boats smashed into other boats and several people needed to be rescued. The boat we were on was a Coast Guard boat and only recently retired.

docks1 docks4 docks5

The item I thought was the coolest on board was the mine. Everybody see Finding Nemo? Remember the scene with the sharks and the pokey metal balls on chains that blew up? I got to see one up close and in person. It was left over from WWII and one of this boat’s jobs was to sniff these guys out.

docks6 docks7

The museum itself explained the history of fishing in Iceland and they had real dead desiccated fish in their display.

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A lot of dead fish.

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And this jaunty poem.

docks8

To end this post on a classy note the primary reason Cricket and Mishi wanted to go to Iceland in the winter was the see the northern lights. We expected to see them all week but there were clouds. Finally, on the last night, there they were.

northern-lights1 northern-lights2 northern-lights3

I probably would have enjoyed them more if I hadn’t been sitting in the car yelling about the Communists and the Illuminati. Let me explain. We were sitting on a mountain and all of a sudden there was a faint green glow. We all asked each other, “Is that it? Do you think that’s it?” and five minutes later the green glow had built into a giant stripe across the sky and bits of the stripes were dancing, DANCING, I tell you. Look:

northern-lights

Not right. Green lights dancing through the sky is un-right. Ergo me sitting in the car reacting like a flat-earth enthusiast. It’s beautiful, don’t get me wrong, it’s just… I can understand why ancient civilizations might be freaked out.

Next post: Food. And Harpa. Then done.

Iceland, Part 6.

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Sorry, the earth caught on fire and I had to go deal with that for a little while. I’ll post about that shortly. In the meantime, moss! SO MUCH MOSS, GUYS.

But first, not moss.

Look at this panoramic pic I took of a corner of the gigantor glacier that takes up a fifth of Iceland.

glacier2 glacier3

And while there are like four trees total in Iceland, that does not mean they are completely bereft of plants. Look at the beautiful colors of this random ground cover.

ground-cover1

We stayed at a sheep farm for two nights. It was wonderful as long as you’re okay with the intense smell of sheep poop. I’m fine with it so it didn’t bother me.

sheep-farm1 sheep-farm7

Right out our front door was an enormous field and then the glacier. Helluva view, I tell ya.

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Our first night there I could not wait to meet the sheep so I snuck out by myself and went to the barn area. I was using a flashlight and totally forgot that retinas reflect back so I was startled by a barn full of demon sheepies.

sheep-farm2

DEMON SHEEPIES!!!

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Not really. They were pretty chill. Small and stocky and rather disinterested in me and my delight at meeting them. Except for one, the alpha male. He was sitting on a cube of hay directly in front of me and was not behind any blockade of any kind.

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All was going well until he decided he had had enough of my company and stood up in a threatening way and I realized he could bolt directly at me if he wanted to and I was like heeeeeeey would you look at the time I gotta go.

sheep-farm5

Big fan of the two broads on the left. We chatted briefly before I made my hasty exit. Well, I chatted and they looked at me. Still counts.

sheep-farm6

So, the moss. As you already know, Iceland is made out of lava and some of that lava is in chunks, like this:

moss-fields20

Very jagged. Well, this feathery moss (it’s really a lichen but everyone calls it moss so we’ll go with that) found that it clung really well to these chunks and covered them completely so now the chunks look squishy and soft and round. These moss fields go on for miles and miles. It’s all you can see in any direct. With the mist it makes it extra-otherworldly. I adored it. Team Iceland Moss 4 Eva.

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Remember when I said I was going to share about twenty pictures of moss and everyone was thought no way? Look at all that there moss, y’all. I culled it down too. There was a solid hundred pics. Seriously, I really liked the moss. Has anyone watched The OA on Netflix? There’s a shot of the lead character visiting heaven or purgatory of some other plane of existence and they used the moss fields for that shot. I was so psyched to see it in the show, I might have yelled, “Oh, hello Iceland moss!” alone in my apartment when that came up on the screen.

the_oe_iceland_location

Apparently you can make an awful-sounding soup from the moss where you have to add a massive amount of sugar to make it palatable but hey, you got to get your chlorophyll from somewhere and there isn’t a lot of choices. (I almost wrote “chloroform.” Glad I caught that.)

moss-soup

Let’s finish talking about the countryside while we’re here and then in the next post we can move onto Reykjavik. In the first place we stayed, a massive village of about fifty inhabitants, we went out for a walk in the morning by the seaside. Note, it is before 11:00am so the sun is not out yet.

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And while we were walking by the sea a sweet small friendly cat D christened Socks decided to join us. I loved Socks.

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He let me pick him up and sing to him! He wasn’t enthused but he tolerated it. Great cat. I wanted to stuff him in my luggage and take him with me but I was outvoted. Boo.

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Since almost all of Iceland runs on geothermal energy we also visited a power plant. I recommend going. It’s only about an hour outside of Reykjavik. Easy to get to.

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We took the tour and the lady was very informative. Here’s what she basically said: There is insanely hot poisonous water that they pump up from under the surface. A pipe filled with clean water is put in a bigger pipe filled with this hot demon water and that heats up the clean water. The giant pipes go to Reykjavik and only lose two degrees on the journey so the water is still crazy hot when it gets there.

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The poisonous death water is put back into the earth so there’s no collapse and it reheats and the circle begins anew.

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The hot water is also used to power massive turbines which in turn make electricity. It’s a pretty self-sufficient facility. There are 40 employees on weekdays and two on weekends. Two.

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The turbines come from Mitsubishi and the company thanked Iceland for buying their products with two very beautiful authentic Japanese crafts.

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This was my favorite chart on the wall explaining the lava under the city.

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They also had a display of all the indigenous rocks. I loved that the most to the surprise of nobody.

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Alright, onto the city.