Tag Archives: Water

Iceland Journal – “Waterfall and Barn”

“Waterfall and Barn” - Þjóðvegur, South Shore, Iceland

“Waterfall and Barn” – Þjóðvegur, South Shore, Iceland

“The icy waters flow and drop in silver streams from high cliff tops; they nourish the land and flow among the ancient bedrock and volcanic debris; sculpting, cleansing, and nourishing this rugged landscape with their cool purity and gentle persistence”
– Ed Lehming

It seemed like this stretch of highway between Vik and Höfn was lined with some form of waterfall for much of the early part of the drive. This high and ancient plateau oozed water from every crack and crevice, creating waterfalls in so many forms it is hard to describe them all.

There were slow meandering ribbons of water that followed the slope of the land and high thundering falls that plunged through the void to thunder upon on rocks far below, and some flowed in wide ribbons across exposed rock, like a vast white curtain in the wind.

The source of all this water, kilometers from our sight, is the ancient ice fields and glaciers of Vatnajökull, covering some 14,000 square kilometers of Iceland’s interior in snow and ice.

With the number of waterfalls and the flow of the water, I can only imagine what spring and early summer must be like, as even in late October, it was simply magnificent to behold.

I read somewhere that Iceland has over 10,000 waterfalls. From my experiences during my ten-day trip, I think that number falls far short from reality. There are waterfalls everywhere. In fact, it was tough, being a ‘flatlander’ not to stop every few minutes along the highway to make yet another photo.

It should also be noted, for those new to Iceland, that many of these smaller waterfalls, while clearly visible from the highway are on private property and can only be viewed from a distance.

Along this coast, one side of the highway is the high plateau, while the other side is an endless lava field that stretches for kilometers south before meeting the shore of the North Atlantic.

I’ve embedded the Google Maps view for your reference:
https://www.google.ca/maps/@63.8506677,-17.9003383,3a,75y,342.02h,97.82t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sKddaHD6706lpCl-pw1tqHw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70mm
1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

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Iceland – Day 3

“Berufjörður” - Djúpavogshreppur, East Iceland

“Berufjörður” – Djúpavogshreppur, East Iceland

“Welcome to driving Iceland, where every turn in the road opens up a brand new and astounding vista. Just when you think you have found the most beautiful sight in the world, another competes with it in an endless play of wonders.”
– Ed Lehming

Today’s theme is mountains, fjords, and glacial streams. First, the mountains are really a continuation of yesterdays mountains, though in line with my quote, the mountains today, as we departed Höfn, had a slightly different character than the glacial mountains we travelled through yesterday. Today’s mountains were ancient and terraced, made deep in under the oceans and heaved up by tectonic forces. They remind me of the Rocky Mountains of North America, with their angular peaks and banded appearance.

Between these rows of mountains, deep fjords cut into the coast of East Iceland, stretching for many kilometers inland and forcing roads to cling tenaciously to the edges of the mountains.

The fjords certainly added to our travel, but what a sight to see; enormous mountains to one side and fingers of the Atlantic Ocean reaching far into the valleys between. It was astounding to look back across and see the fine thread that represented the road we had just traveled, along the edge of the water.

Within the valleys of the snow-covered mountains, nearly every crack and crevasse flowed with clear, ice-cold, melt water. I can imagine this place in late spring. The hills must be completely awash with water.

I could not resist filling my water bottle at the base of a 1,085 meter high mountain. It was an amazing experience to drink this ice-cold elixir while looking high up to the peak that created it, the cool mountain breezes blowing on my face and refreshing my very soul. This, is glacier water, not the stuff marketed with pictures of mountains! This is the real deal.

We neared our day with a 6 km. drive though a tunnel carved below Kollufell Mountain, shortening our drive by some 35 km. Before settling in our room in Egilsstaðir, we decided to take drive around the long lake that if formed within the Lagarfljót River, Lagarfljót Lake.

At the south end of the lake is a trailhead that leads to Hengifoss, a VERY steep, 2.5 km hike up the side of one of the river valley’s bounding mountains. We made it to just past the 1 km mark, beaten by high winds, cold, and exhaustion, being the end of the day. At this point in the ascent, we were greeted by Litlanesfoss, a smaller falls below Hengifoss. I took the time to make a few photos and began our decent.

At the end of the day, a nice bowl of Icelandic lamb stew in Egilsstaðir made up for the cold and the memory of the experience with stay with me for a long time.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/2179 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

 

Iceland – Day 2

“Sveitarfélagið Hornafjörður - Glacial Pool” - East Icel

“Sveitarfélagið Hornafjörður – Glacial Pool” – East Iceland

“ If one looks at the glacier for long enough, words cease to have any meaning on God’s earth.” 
― Halldór Laxness

Today was a day of volcanoes, mountains, and ice (and rough roads), as I continue my journey around Iceland’s Ring Road.

We entered the south-east of Iceland, having departed from Vik this morning, travelling along Highway 1. Shortly after Vik, the landscape changed dramatically into a jagged landscape of tortured rock and cinder. Just north of us, loomed the massive ice fields which cover the now dormant Katla volcano. There is a real problem when a volcano erupts under a glacier; it has nowhere to go but out, through the base of the glacier, creating catastrophic flooding  and ash falls. The most recent eruption of Katla, was in 1918, but the area to the south-east of the volcano looks like it erupted a few days ago, with twisted shards of black stone and ash as far as the eye can see.

As we continued east, the landscape changed again, into a surreal world of mounds of rounded stone covered in thick green moss. This continued for quite some time until we entered yet another vast field of black sand and gravel, the runoff of the Vatnajökull glacier fields.  The black sand is crisscrossed by an endless network of glacial rivers.

Beyond this black plain rise the sheer cliffs, mountains, and glaciers which dominated my day. The best of all is pictured above. At the base of one of the many Svínafellsjökull glacial ‘tongues’ below Hvannadalshnúkur, the highest glaciated mountain in Iceland. We hiked along the edge of the glacier but were most fascinated by the small glacial pool at the base, filled with icebergs of many sizes, some a spectacular blue. Some smaller pieces lay by the shore, crystal clear and beckoning me to have a taste, which I did. Oh, so cool and fresh! I’ve now eaten a piece of glacier.

We spend quite a bit of time on the shores of this pond, away from the crowds who did not seem to be able to find the trail that led us here, making photos and enjoying the vast glacier which stood before us.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/556 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“High Water”

“Gentle spring waves wash high upon the shore, drenching the land with moisture and restoring life, winter is at an end.”
– Ed Lehming

A few short weeks ago, Marble Lake was still ice covered and winter ruled, refusing to relinquish its hold on the land. A deep freeze and late snowfall meant frost remained locked into the ground, blocking the flow of melt water, channeling it on new courses.

The ice is gone, yet the water is bone-chillingly cold. Swimming will have to wait a few more weeks.

As I travelled north to our camper this long weekend, I noticed that some lakes were seemingly lower than others, appearing as if water had been quite high at sometime and found a release, leaving its mark on the shore.

It’s been a very different spring and was particularly noticeable as I went for a hike in the forest behind our camper. Unlike the forests near home, where wildflowers have burst forth almost overnight, growth I delayed here in the Bancroft region. Trilliums have just started to bloom, sorrel is ready to bloom today, if it warms up enough. It’s a mixed bag of plants and their ability to adapt to this chilly spring.

Even the black flies, the scourge of the Boreal forest are slow to emerge, but they have, just not feeding yet. I’m sure that will change soon enough.

Today, I am hoping to get a hike in to Egan Chute, one of my favourite local cascades, to get some updated photos.

iPhone 7
1/4000 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20

“Early Colours on Papineau Creek”

“Early Colours on Papineau Creek”

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” 
― Lauren DeStefano

I’m considering starting another series based on this past weekend, enjoying the Bancroft Area Studio tour and the natural beauty of the North Hasting Highlands area, which we drove through as part of the tour.

This has been a very strange year indeed. As we drove from studio to studio, I noticed many of the leaves had already begun to change colour. For those who follow my blog regularly, you will know that we have had an excessively wet summer, and a bit cooler than usual. Well, that all changed a few weeks ago and we are now experiencing a dry spell and temperatures more appropriate for July. So, it’s really strange to have it feel like mid-summer yet see fall colours starting. The trend is supposed to continue for at least another week.

The image above was made at one of my favorite rest stops in the area. A small, unmarked park along the shores of Papineau Creek. I stopped here for lunch with my family and decided to make a few images before cooling off in the creek.

Adding the element of water had a nice effect on the image, but it’s the only one like it, the rest are images of the forest. Like I said, I may make a short series of them and wanted to start out with this one as I consider the other images.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/20.0, ISO 100 

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Downward Plunge”

“Downward Plunge”

“Life moves very fast. It rushes from Heaven to Hell in a matter of seconds.” 
― Paulo Coelho

This past weekend, I took a little side drive to High Falls, which is really a former chute, turned to a waterfall by the installation of a dam nearly one hundred years ago. The dam closes off the end of Baptiste Lake, just north of the town of Bancroft, Ontario.

Because of the dam, the lake itself is a lot larger than it was originally, by about fifteen feet. As I stood along the side of the falls, I tried to picture this area before the dam was built. It must have been quite a sight, watching the massive flow of water surging through this narrow chute.

The dam was built to regulate the flow of the water from Baptiste Lake into the York River, which begins here and flows through the town of Bancroft several miles below. Spring floodwaters used to cause a lot of damage to the town. Even with the dam, the York River catchment basin is big enough to cause flooding in the town in the spring, as snow and ice melt. It must have been crazy before the dam was built.

I made several long exposures of various section of the falls, till a sudden cloudburst ended my day and I had to scramble back to the car, satisfied with only a few images. Of the five images I made, this one resonated with me the most. It shows the water spreading beyond the narrow rift and flowing over the surrounding rocks. The water was a bit higher than usual, in part because of our excessively rainy summer.

There is something about water that calms me, even rushing water. As I edited the image, I found myself zooming in on sections, taking in the complex movement and textures of the water as it rushes over teh rocks and downward to the rapids below.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200 

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com