It is summer solstice, the shortest night of the year and the longest day of the year. Icelandic summer nights are ideal for outings and camping. No darkness makes everything easier especially for those who are afraid of the dark.
There is little that beats the beauty of the midnight sun. In the middle of summer the sun sets after midnight and is up again before three in the night so there is more or less daylight also at nighttime.
Some very nice Northern Lights could be seen all over Iceland last week. The weather was excellent, beautiful clear skies. The red ones were spectacular but only lasted for a short while. When I managed to get outside and put up my gear, they had vanished and the more common green colours had replaced the red ones.
In the last few days one storm after another has moved across Iceland. Most days the wind has been between 15 – 23 m/s. This has disrupted travels and plans for Christmas. Life for sea birds has also been difficult in the turbulent sea. Some look for shelter in fjords and harbours where the wind is not as harsh as out in the open seas.
The harbour in Thorlakshofn (Þorlákshöfn) is one of these sheltering places where birds flock in bad weathers.
Groups of Eiders, Long-Tailed Ducks, Red-Breasted Mergansers and Gulls have been there and a few Cormorants and King Eiders have been seen. Also a Black Guillemot and a Razorbill in the company of Little Auks.
Today was the shortest day of the year, winter solstice. The sun rose at about 11.15 and will set at around 15.30. It was a beautiful day, with intermittent snowfall and some blue skies could even be seen during the brightest time of the day. The weather forecast predicts a White Christmas and today was one of these perfect days to get into a Christmas mood.
This rainbow appeared after a rain shower around noon today. Notice that on the inside the sky is brighter than on the outside. Such a perfect rainbow brings to mind Judy Garland´s song “Over the Rainbow” from the Wizard of Oz.
Even Icelanders do not expect to see the Northern Lights until winter but last night’s clear skies sported these beautiful colours. Forecasts say that in the next few nights Northern Light activity will be high. The best time to see them is usually around midnight.
Summer solstice was yesterday – the longest day of the year. This photo was taken just before midnight when the sun breaks through the cloudy northern sky over Mount Ingólfsfjall with Ölfusá River in the foreground.