Iceland, Day 3

Eva likes to have a plan, and on this day, she was on a mission to see the icebergs at Jökulsárlón.  

After leaving Vik, we drove through an flat area with many square kilometers of moss covered rock. We stopped and photographed together for some time. Here is Eva standing in the midst of the mossing area:

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There were pockets of fall color if you wandered sufficiently far:

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from here, we finally made it to Jökulsárlón:

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This is 248 meters deep and the bay is open to the ocean, and the interaction with the relatively warmer ocean water calves huge chunks of ice off the glacier’s end and the resulting icebergs float about in and out of the bay depending on winds and tides. Some of the ice ends up on the black sand beach, leaving little jewels of ice scattered everywhere. 

There’s a seal in the picture below to give you a sense of scale:

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This picture strikes me as funny; almost like we have a fake photo backdrop behind us:

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Ice, Sun dogs and Parhelic Circle

It’s been cold this February in Maine—by local accounts, we’ve had more ice in Portland Harbor than has been seen in decades, and the Coast Guard has been using it’s ice breaking ship to keep the harbor navigable. However, “navigable” is relative; smaller boats have not been able to escape the harbor due to the ice buildup, which has now even reached Peaks Island:

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View looking north along western edge of Peaks Island.

 

The cold weather means that small animals (such as a recently sighted mink) can even make the trek from Peaks Island to neighboring House Island (mink not in this photo):

 

 

View from Peaks Island to House Island at -20 C.

View from Peaks Island to House Island at -20 C.

 

Just the other day (Feb 16, 2015), on a frigid walk around the island with my daughter, we spotted a beautiful sun dog—an optical phenomenon caused by reflection & refraction through ice crystals in the atmosphere. The two opposite rainbow arcs are formed when the light refracts through a minimum deviation of 22 degrees:

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Sundog from back shore of Peaks Island, ME.

Sometimes, but apparently much more rarely, one can see a parhelic circle extending from either sundog part way around the sky. On this morning, the arc extended more than half  way around the sky, and I took this panoramic image before my iphone6+ battery totally tanked in the -18 C temperatures:

Parhelic Circle extending from a sun dog on Feb 16, 2015 on Peaks Island, ME

Parhelic Circle extending from a sun dog on Feb 16, 2015 on Peaks Island, ME

 

Febrary Ice

As I was walking my dog on this cold February day in Maine, I came across this icy stream. Unfortunately, I brought a monopod instead of a tripod, and was forced to do my best without a true stable platform. I attatched the monopod to my Canon G10 and braced the horizontally oriented camera/monopod against myself while taking this photo (1/4 sec, f/4, ISO 80). Not bad for 1/4 second. But what I’m not showing are the 35 pictures that didn’t make the cut. There’s one distracting element in this picture that bugs me; do you see it?