Wednesday, August 13, 2014


This is day two and we are now in north Iceland in a town called Akureyri, the second largest town in Iceland.  The weather ranges from very cold 40 degrees up to 55 degrees, with a constant wind of 20-30 miles an hour.  The drone is having a rough time staying up against the winds, but is still holding up.

We have visited five "Open Forests"  (Skogur Opinn), Fossa, Hofsstadaskogur, Trod, Danielslundur and Hrutey.  I have a total of eleven to visit.  These are public/privately funded forest that provides recreational resources (trails, picnic, scenic views, habitat and education).  The goal is to demonstrate to the public the benefits of the forest resources, conservation and afforestation.  The long term goal is to reestablish lost forest - Iceland is going to need the public's help.  Currently approximately 2% of the public belongs to a forest resource conservation society.  They do have the interest but lack funding.

Hrutey forest, in the town of Blondous (north Iceland), is by far the most interesting.  It is situated on a 30 acre island plateau in a salmon river.  Extreme conditions: raging water, creaky bridge to the island, very cold, wind gust to 40 mph - can't fly the drone there.   There's incredible plant diversity.  The meadows are 2'-3' deep with flowering plants, grasses, forbs, mosses - it's like walking on a sponge.  We are stepping in vegetation up to our waist - it's a little creepy since the locals think that fairies an elves inhabit these places.  Actually the only wildlife on the island are birds.  We came across several ground nest with clutches of 4-6 eggs about twice the size of a chicken eggs.

It amazes me time and time again, that somehow "life finds a way" to exist and sustain itself - even in the most remote and stormy areas of the world. Life finds a way.  Do you know that movie quote?

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