animals, bird, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, wildlife

Throwback Thursday: puffin

Since my first visit of Iceland, I’m following the Icelandic news online (the English version of course ūüėĀ). Earlier this week, I read a news initially published by ruv.is about the Atlantic puffin.

These cute birds only come to land for breeding and Iceland is the breeding home for about 40% of the worldwide population. Two years ago, I already published a similar post focussing on the enormous decrease of the puffin population. Now they state, the population decided by 70% since 1995!ūüė≥ūüė©ūüė°

According to the news, the vanishing of their food is the primary reason for the decline. I already wrote about it. Thus, I simply ask you to follow this link and read the second and third paragraphs.

Take care!

 

nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants

Monochrome Monday 9-17

 

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Take care!

 

animals, bird, photography, wildlife

Throwback Thursday: what happens to the puffins?

Since I visited Iceland for the first time, I’m following the Icelandic news. Fortunately, there are a couple of sources in English as I don’t understand Icelandic. I tried learning it (there was a starter class created by the Icelandic university), but I dropped out because it was too hard for me. I know a couple of pronunciation rules, but distinguishing the spoken words was nearly impossible for me.¬†But, thankfully there are some trustworthy sources in English available.

Iceland has, besides Greenland, the biggest breeding colonies of puffins. These pretty guys only come to land for breeding. Over the years, the Icelandic government noticed an enormous decrease in puffins in the south (around Vik √≠ Myrdal). When I was there last year again, I only saw a few single birds, instead of the huge number I’ve seen in 2014. In 2014, there were thousands of birds in the air and resting on the sea. At night the rocks were covered by them. In 2020, there were not many birds left. They depend on sand eels and the warmer the water becomes, the fewer sand eels are there. Other sea birds like gulls and Northern fulmars have more options. So, they are not affected. In addition, especially in the south and on the Westman Islands hunting for puffins is still allowed, but the hunters should register their prey.

In 2020 only 13% of the registered hunters registered their prey: 23,000 puffins were cought. It is not clear if the other 87% of the registered hunters waived their right to hunt puffins or if they simply ‘forgot’ to register. Nevertheless, in 2020 the Icelandic government noticed a big decrease in breeding couples in the two main colonies: Westman Islands + Eastfjords. Although the government set up artificial breeding caves to help the birds, 38% of these caves kept unoccupied. In a past blog post, I already explained the breeding habit of puffins.

“the puffin population has decreased by 45% over the last 17 years in Iceland. Low reproduction and food shortages have led to declining in puffin stock.” (source: grapevie.is)

Good news, this year the hunting season is at least shortened from 46 days to only 10.

 

This image shows another problem. In fall (mid-August) a newborn puffin starts to live his own life alone on the sea. At the age of 3, they came back and the males start digging a cave between the grass and the rock below. The cave becomes approximately 1 meter (3 feet) deep and gets 2 chambers at the end: a breeding room and a toilet. This lasts approximately 6 years (summers = End-of-May to mid-August). When a male has finished the cave, he can start finding a female.

When the Icelandic government sees a high frequented place bearing some dangers, they set up these iron poles and span a line approximately 20 cm above the ground. Here, we have 2 lines and the upper one is at approximately 50 cm. So, you can be pretty sure, it’s very dangerous coming closer to the edge. The edge is very often not solid and seabirds are breeding there. I saw this unfortunately quite often. Even some people were climbing down the rock for getting better photos with their smartphones!!!!! Unbelievable! In the east-fjords, they even set up a wooden fence of approximately 1,2m (4 feet) high, and some people climbed over it.

First: it’s dangerous

    • rock is not that solid as you might guess. Water, wind, frost weakens the stone
    • wind scratches out the solid between grass and rock
    • seabirds digging their long caves in this only 10-20 cm thick soil.

When putting some weight on this, you might break in, stumble and/or fall down the cliff (in the image above, the cliff is about 400m high (1,300 feet). You endanger the birds when breaking into their caves. Even when not killing the breeding parent or the nestling, a hole in the roof could be used by foxes or gulls to steal the nestling.

 

Take care!

 

photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Monday 8-04

Who can tell where the border between land and sky is.

Another image taken last summer in Iceland. It’s a view from the side to¬†Vestrahorn Mountain, Stokksnes.

As usual, click on the image to enlarge it.

 

Btw. I’m currently running a raffle. You can win a license of Excire Foto.¬†Check it out!

Take care!

landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, street, technic, travel, urbex, work, world

Monochrome Monday 8-01

Today I’m starting in the 8th year of this continuously running series of presenting monochrome images and I still love doing it.

Today, we’re back in Iceland again. This is Dj√ļpal√≥nssandur beach located on the south-western edge of Sn√¶fellsnes peninsula.

Take care!

 

animals, bird, history, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, wildlife, world

Throwback Thursday: Icelandic bird of the year 2021

You might remember, a couple of weeks ago, I posted an image of the German bird of the year 2021. Today, I have the one, the Icelanders have chosen: European golden plover

European golden plover (Pluvialis apricaria) / Goldregenpfeifer

The Hei√įl√≥an (pluvialis apricaria), or the European golden plover (Goldregenpfeifer in German) won the election. Once, this bird was common in middle Europe. Nowadays, you can only find it in Northern Europe: Iceland, Faroe Islands, Scandinavia, and Siberia. It has certain requirements for its habitat. (sidenote: I just noticed, the German word Lebensraum was also taken as a loanword into English with exactly the same meaning – wow).

I met these little guys last summer in Iceland a couple of times. This image was taken in the Westfjords.

Take care!

culture, travel, work, world

Suffering form a virus? – Room travel trip #4

In German below the images / In Deutsch unter den Bildern

This post is part of the room travel challenge of Puzzleblume. After skipping two opportunities to participate, I’m in this time again for the letters “H” and “I” for hobby and Iceland! Here, you can find my first room travel where I also noted the rules for this challenge. Have a look and participate! I also have certain tags for this challenge: “roomtravel” and “Zimmerreisen“.

You know, last year I was in Iceland again. On my flight back, I watched a documentary on my mobile “Leben anderswo – Island – Von strickenden M√§nnern und Pullovern (Living Elsewhere – Iceland – Of knitting men and sweaters)”. The documentary was about a knitting man in his mid-30s from Reykjavik who started investigating the source of Icelandic wool and the tradition of knitting sweaters. We were also introduced to his (nearly) all-men knitting club and the general information, how popular knitting in Iceland still is. We were also introduced to wool production and dying and a company giving work to women who make their living from knitting. These women get the wool from the company and making sweaters from them. In the end, they get pain per sweater minus the wool costs. It was said, you can get these hand-made sweaters in many places in Iceland.

In the documentary they also showed, all kids in Iceland are learning knitting: boys and girls! When I was in school, I also had to learn some basic knitting, sewing, and crocheting. I wasn’t talented for this kind of craftsmanship (crocheting was the worst of them). Despite this, I feel sorry for these topics aren’t taught anymore at school. Also, many of the now-parents don’t know how to do it and usually, the grant-parents are not nearby to take over (usually the women). Much of the culture and abilities are about to get lost. Because people have to move to keep their work, family structures are destroyed and no one steps in (to be honest, most of the kids don’t have any interest in learning this, when being forced to – nevertheless, they should at least have tried this before becoming a teenager as well as painting or acquiring abilities in mechanics or wood-working). So, either you’re eager to learn it from books, magazines, an already experienced friend, or from videos on youtube.

I liked the documentary very much and was eventually able to persuade my wife to watch it, too. (she hates documentaries in general, regardless of the subject).

After these 45 minutes, she was eager to start knitting an Icelandic sweater herself. After a couple of minutes of googling the internet, she found an online shop dealing not only with dyed Icelandic wool but also knitting packages containing all necessary wool and the pattern for about 40-50 different sweaters and jackets. One of those packages was ordered quickly. Because of the summer holiday of the shop and the pandemic, the delivery lasted quite long. But by mid-August, the package was delivered.

About 6 weeks after the delivery she finalized the jacket. Wow! During the final phases of the first jacket, another package was ordered to make a jacket for herself. Next, our youngest son got one (he’s 21). Seeing this, our grandson (he’s 4 1/2) also asked for a jacket. But, this one should get buttons instead of a zipper as the others have. While waiting for the delivery of the wooden buttons, (2-3 weeks of delivery), my wife started a fifth jacket (a second one for herself). Until the end of February, she knitted 5 Iceland jackets in 6 1/2 months. Wow! She only knitted in the evenings while watching TV to have something to do for her hands and she even knitted and crocheted a few other things like sponges for washing dishes or egg-warmer (Amigurumi) as well as a woolen VW Bulli for a friend as a birthday gift. And there are already plans for two further jackets to start after finishing the current project: a crocheted shopping bag.

Tell me, is she suffering from a virus? Maybe an Iceland-fever-virus despite she never was there?

Dieser Post ist Teil der Zimmerreisen von Puzzelblume. Nachdem ich zwei mal pausieren musste, bin ich diesmal wieder dabei. In meinem ersten Post findest Du die Regeln, um auch selbst mitmachen zu k√∂nnen. Meine Posts hier im blog kannst du mit den Tags “roomtravel” und “Zimmerreisen” finden. Diesmal sind “H” und “I” die Buchstaben. F√ľr mich hei√üt das “Hobby” und “Island“.

Letztes Jahr war ich ich wieder in Island. Auf dem R√ľckflug habe ich an meinem Smartphone ein paar Dokus gesehen. Eine davon hie√ü “Leben anderswo – Island – Von strickenden M√§nnern und Pullovern”. Wie der Name schon sagt, handelte sich von strickenden M√§nnern in Island. Der Haupt-Charakter, ein Mann mitte 30, aus Reykjavik und Mitglied eines Strick-Clubs starte eine Reise zu den Urspr√ľngen der Isl√§ndischen Wolle, dem F√§rben, und was sonst so damit zusammen h√§ngt. Er stellt uns auch seinen Strick-Club vor, der sich regelm√§√üig zum gemeinsamen Stricken in Reykjavik trifft. Fast ausschlie√ülich M√§nner! Aber auch eine Firma, f√ľr die Frauen im ganzen land die Handgestickten Pullover aus gestellter Wolle erstellen. Man soll diese Pullover wohl an vielen Orten auf und In Island kaufen k√∂nnen.

In der Doku wurden auch Isl√§ndische Kinder gezeigt, die in der Schule stricken lernen: Jungen und M√§dchen. Als ich in der Schule war, musste ich auch stricken, h√§keln und n√§hen lernen. Allerdings war ich daf√ľr nicht sonderlich talentiert (H√§keln war das schlimmste davon). Meine Kinder hatten das nie in der Schule. Und auch in meiner Altersgruppe war das eher die Ausnahme. Auch wenn ich es nicht mochte, finde ich es gut, dass das Kindern nahegebracht wird. Wie Sport und Malen sollte auch Handarbeiten und Werken erlernt werden bevor sie zu Teenagern werden. Wenn sie es m√∂gen, k√∂nnen sie sp√§ter darauf aufbauen. Wenn sie es nicht m√∂gen, haben sie es zumindest probiert. Eltern und Gro√üeltern k√∂nnen so etwas heute nicht mehr leisten. Beide Elternteile m√ľssen arbeiten (wenn √ľberhaupt beide Elternteile da sind), und haben es in der Regel selbst nicht mehr gelernt. Gro√üeltern m√ľssen ebenfalls noch arbeiten oder sind weiter weg. Die heutige Notwenigkeit der Arbeit hinterher zu ziehen zerst√∂rt leider solche Familien-Strukturen. Und Schulen fehlt die Zeit, das Lehrpersonal und die F√§higkeiten bei den Lehrkr√§ften, Handarbeiten anzubieten. So bleiben f√ľr wirklich interessierte Personen das lernen ahand von B√ľchern, Magazinen, erfahrenen Freunden oder Youtube-Videos. Schade!

Ich fand diese Doku so interessant, dass ich meine Frau √ľberzeugen konnte, sie sich ebenfalls anzusehen. Normalerweise schaut sie √ľberhaupt keine Dokus. Aber nach 45 Minuten war sie nicht nur begeistert, sondern angesteckt, selbst einen Island-Pullover zu stricken. Nach weinigen Minuten suchens im Internet fand sie einen Online-Shop, der nicht nur original Island-Wolle anbot, sondern ganze Pakete mit Wollzusammenstellungen f√ľr komplette Pullover und Jacken. Etwa 40-50 verschiedene Modelle waren im Angebot. So wurde ein Paket bestellt. Aufgrund von Sommerferien und Pandemie dauerte die lieferung zwar etwas, aber Mitte August war das Paket da.

Etwa 6 Wochen sp√§ter war die Jacke fertig. Wow! W√§hrend der letzen Phase wurde schon das n√§chste Paket geordert. Dann ein weiteres f√ľr unseren j√ľngsten Sohn. Dann wollte unser Enkel auch eine Jacke haben. Diesmal sollte die Jacke aber Kn√∂pfe statt eines Rei√üverschlusses bekommen. Wie haben tolle Holzkn√∂pfe gefunden. Leider aber wieder eine l√§ngere Lieferzeit. In der Zeit wurde die f√ľnfte Jacke begonnen, ebenfalls mit Holzkn√∂pfen. F√ľnf Island-Jacken in 6 1/2 Monaten. Wow. Und sie hat nur in den Abendstunden beim Fernsehen gestrickt, um eine Besch√§ftigung f√ľr die H√§nde zu haben. In der gleichen Zeit wurden auch noch andere Dinge gestrickt und geh√§kelt: Eierw√§rmer, Sp√ľlschw√§mme (Amigurumi), ein VW Bulli f√ľr einen Freund als Geburtstagsgeschenk. Und es gibt schon Pl√§ne f√ľr zwei weitere Jacken wenn das aktuelle Projekt fertig ist: eine geh√§kelte Einkaufstasche.

Hat sie sich ein Virus eingefangen? Vielleicht ein Island-Fiber-Virus obwohl sie nie dort war?

Take care!