Iceland’s moss fields are not quite so famous – or so awe-inspiring – as it’s lava fields or volcanoes. But they are quite remarkable. The moss is the first thing that grows in the soil that forms from eroding lava rock. Even though it looks invitingly springy to walk on, it can take years for the moss to regrow from a single footprint. Iceland’s moss is like the new downy hair on a baby’s head – and you wouldn’t step on that, would you?
I’m in Iceland right now, but this photo was taken on an earlier trip. Seljalandsfoss is one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland, and deservedly so. Those majestic 63-meter falls are quite photogenic, with a trail that runs right behind the cascade. No wonder it swarms so thickly with tourists you can barely see the water.
But right around the corner is a second fall, Gljúfrabúi. Harder to say, easier to see. Hardly anyone knows it’s there. It has cut a channel back into the rock. Visitors follow the stream back to the hill, then walk through a rock channel into a cave. The waterfall has carved out a doughnut-hole in the roof. You can climb up on a big rock in the middle, look up at the open sky, and feel the fine shower of waterfall spray on your face.
I grew up on the desert, where urban pollution and barren earth combined to create some pretty epic sunsets. Colorful sunsets were among the very few things I missed about the Southwest when I moved to Seattle (Indian fry bread was another). Here, you could miss the sunset entirely behind the clouds.
But I’ve grown to love the gentle Northwest sunsets, all colorless light and shadow. This one was at Cama Beach.