In Oban Scotland, The Dunollie Woodland Trail, will lead you into The Witches Woods!
The deeper you go into the forest, the older it becomes.
The trees in the forest were twisted over time into witch-like shapes by the actions of fierce coastal winds.
Some of the oaks are over 400 years old.
The Witches Woods surround Dunollie Castle,
which was once home to the most powerful clan in Western Scotland, the MacDougalls.
The remains of the castle and the old manor house can be toured.
I was first scheduled to visit Oban about 30 years ago, but The Queen was doing a walk about, so our plans were changed. I am happy to have finally visited this charming town and the gorgeous Hebrides.
We are home at The Holler now, but it is cheers and BOO to you from misty Oban’s Witches Woods~
Icelandic waters are teeming with over 300 species of fish, and many marine mammals, but they have only a handful of terrestrial wild animals including reindeer, mink and arctic fox, and 85 species of birds.
The Northern Fulmar is a pelagic bird, meaning they spend their lives at sea, and are capable of diving several meters in pursuit of prey.
They resemble albatross, and have tubular beaks for processing sea water like other pelagic birds, including albatross and petrels.
Very handsome Tufted Ducks are common breeders all over Iceland. This is a female.
Ocean swimming Greylag Geese breed in Iceland, Finland and Scandinavia, and winter in the British Isles.
The Northern Common Sea Eider is the producer of eider-down which is harvested in Iceland by special eider farmers.
Black Headed Gulls are common in Iceland.
This one is a juvenile.
Adaptable Starlings first settled in Iceland in the 1940’s, and now can be seen nesting in Akureyri and Reykjavik.
Cheers to you from beautiful Iceland and her very hardy birds~
I remain as amazed by this question as this little toddler.
There is this wonder of birds, and children.
You want them to stay with you, but if they did, it wouldn’t be the same.
We are home now in sunny Southern California.
I still have more of Iceland to share,
but thought you might want a break from fire and ice,
to soak up a bit of sun and surf.
We still, desperately need rain, but like the song says, ‘you can’t always get what you want.’
Cheers to you from home sweet home~
Godafoss, the Waterfall of the Gods, originates deep in the Icelandic Highlands.
The first cascade falls 12 meters, over a span of 30 meters, and the cascades continue for quite a distance. There is an incredible volume of water moving here, and the sound, spray and color, are quite remarkable.
It is one of Iceland’s many spectacular waterfalls.
Godafoss can be accessed from the nearby town of Akureyri, which in turn is reachable by Iceland’s famed Ring Road.
Akureyri, like all Icelandic towns is charming, and boasts the northern-most botanical garden in the world,
where you can see many unusual and beautiful plants.
We are home at The Holler now, but it is still, cheers to you from stunning Iceland~
Whooper Swans are the Eurasian cousin of North American Trumpeter swans.
They breed all over Iceland, and some overwinter in the thermally heated parts of Lake Myvatn. Interestingly, their North American Trumpeter Swan cousins do the same thing, spending winter in the thermally heated parts of the Yellowstone River.
These beauties are aptly named as they certainly seem to enjoy trumpeting!
Whooper Swans mate for life,
and their cygnets, and grown offspring, often overwinter with them.
Cheers to you from Iceland’s beautiful swans~
Laufas is an old turf house in Northern Iceland. There are many of these partially underground historical sod houses in Iceland. The house was built between 1866-1870 and is very large and multi-level, with one floor completely underground. In this photo you can see the sod brick construction which has withstood the test of time and Iceland’s formidable winters.
Laufas house facades are made of wood which is quite scarce in Iceland.
There are underground passages,
and underground rooms.
These houses are snug,
but quite spacious,
and not at all claustrophobic inside.
20-30 people lived in Laufas House.
The houses give one a sense of communal underground living,
that was heat efficient during Iceland’s unforgiving winters.
Laufas House was a wealthy priest’s house, and some rooms are more polished and finished than others.
This was a working farm, on a gorgeous site, with a church that was originally built in 1698.
Cheers to you from Iceland’s fascinating turf houses~
Seydisfjordur is a town of 665 people.
It is located deep up a fjord,
flanked by high mountains,
in Eastern Iceland.
It can be reached by Iceland’s famous ring road.
The area is filled with waterfalls,
and is home to Skalane’s Nature Preserve which is a wildlife paradise teeming with artic birds and sealife.
Cheers to you from stunning Iceland~
(Internet continues to be problematic, but I will check in when I can!)