Gullfoss, a large waterfall

Iceland 2012, Day 2: Gullfoss

Gullfoss, a large waterfall
The waterfall Gullfoss (“Golden Falls”) on the Hvíta River, Iceland. August 13, 2012.

Our next stop on the Golden Circle was Gullfoss (“Golden Falls”), a spectacularly huge waterfall that has likely been in many commercials. Iceland is studded with waterfalls, all of them lovely in their own unique ways, although by the end of the trip I was starting to reach my waterfall saturation point. But this was early, and I wasn’t jaded yet.

We had remarkably decent weather for most of our trip, by which I mean it wasn’t raining. The amount of blue sky in my scenic photos is primarily the result of taking a million photos during brief blue sky breaks and careful editing: the average sky was very much gray.

Typical Icelandic sky:

Gullfoss, Iceland

Blue sky break! Quick, take pictures!

Gullfoss, Iceland

One of the things I love about Iceland is the tundra vegetation, dominated by heather and tough, low-growing little plants of all kinds.

Heather near Gullfoss, Iceland

I also saw my first Icelandic Lepidoptera here–Iceland is home to only a little over 100 species of Lepidoptera, just six of them butterflies. Given that leps are one of the more diverse orders, this is pretty low-diversity. I did not see any butterflies on this trip, but there were a few very abundant species of caterpillars–the first, the Broom Moth (Ceramica or Melanchra pisi) I saw for the first time at Gullfoss, but I’ll post pictures of it at the next stop.

There were some adult moths around, too, but I don’t believe they’re the same species, and I hesitate to attempt identifying brown moths of Colorado, much less Iceland. If anyone does happen to know what species this is, I’d love to know.

Mystery moth

The next stop was the Haukadalur valley, a geothermal area home to the geyser that named all geysers….

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4 thoughts on “Iceland 2012, Day 2: Gullfoss”

  1. Thank you! You’d think with such a small species list that would help, but while I found a bunch of species it’s definitely not, I don’t see any that look plausible. Ah, well, family is better than nothing.

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