30 Words for Wind

20120713-103347.jpg There are about 30 words for wind in Icelandic! this tells you a bit about the weather - medium hard wind, cold wind from the north, harder than medium breeze, etc. Why generalize? This wind causes a huge erosion problem, a sense that Iceland is literally blowing away. One anti-erosion strategy has been to import a North American blue lupin and plant it all over the sand and mountain sides where it has taken off like crazy.


It is beautiful but as with any imported ecological solution has also caused problems. The sheep don't like its bitter taste and it grows so tall that it wipes out the shorter native grasses as well as moss and lichen. But it has stabilized the soil.


A long day trip to the North led through a long expanse of nothing with barren heidis (heaths) on one side and shimmering fljõts (streams) on the other. And there would be a long camper parked in the middle of it all so the owner could fish. The fjördurs (fjords) are a gorgeous blue against the sky amd there are even fewer trees.

Back in my studio looking out at pairs of white plastic wrapped hay bales that look like sheep-mates as I think about this raw new land, Iceland. Was this what it all looked like in the beginning?