Iceland is born of volcanoes, and signs of its fiery (and ongoing) birth are visible everywhere. This is a view across lava from 1973, when an eruption on Heimaey island threatened to destroy the local town. The situation was looking grim, until resourceful scientists figured they could control the magma flow by means of pumped seawater, which cooled it into berms and allowed the townspeople to channel it away from their homes. The fields of boulders and tephra form an unearthly landscape, especially with the low clouds and mist that was moving in as I was taking this shot.
As unremarkable as moss may seem here, in temperate climates, it can take on fantastic forms in Iceland. It is one of the few types of flora that thrives in this cold, damp climate. While driving the ring road east of Vik, I came upon vast lava fields that at first glance appeared to be green crumb cake. In fact, each rock and boulder had grown a thick coat of moss and lichens. When I left the car to get a closer shot, I found jumping from rock to rock to be like trampolining, the stuff was so thick and spongy.