Thursday, July 28, 2016

Explosive dispersal in Flateyri

Today I spend a few hours in the neighboring village of Flateyri, taking the public bus at 11am. First I hike along an old road out of town, along the hiking route to Suðureyri. As I walk in the warm sun past endless fields of lupine, which have bloomed out by now, I hear a constant yet irregular popping or crackling sound – just like Rice Krispies cereal when you add the milk. This is something I’ve never noticed before, so I stop to inspect the lupine’s black seed pods.

The technical term for nature’s unusual way of spreading seeds is explosive dispersal and it's not only common in lupines, but also impatiens and pansies, for example. As the pods  dry, it creates tension that causes the pod to eventually split. As the two halves pop open, the seeds are suddenly released like a tight spring. It creates quite a popping, crackling, snapping chorus of sound that’s entertaining to hear. Nature never ceases to amaze me.

After an enjoyable 2-hour walk, inspecting the dam and the pass and lounging in the sun, I head back down to investigate the town’s new cafe, Bryggjukaffi. The ladies inside are truly thrilled to welcome a customer, so I order a cuppa and a dish of delectable blueberry cheesecake and sit outside in the sun. The view of a warehouse and parking lot is not especially idyllic, but otherwise it’s certainly a nice little cafe.

I stop at the old bookstore, which is another one of the village’s delights. I have time, so I thoroughly browse the old books and find a few to purchase. The price is established by weight and the books are placed on an old-style scale. For anyone who enjoys books, I recommend having a look here. I skip the village’s other places of interest, like the Nonsense Museum and the avalanche wall, because I’d like to have a look at the new addition to the tiny indoor swimming pool. Recently two hotpots were built outside, thus greatly improving the pool’s attraction. Since the weather is so nice, the hotpots are full with ladies and babes, and in typical Westfjords style, there’s free coffee.
That wraps up my day in Flateyri and my last day in the Westfjords for a bit. I’m heading off to Reykjavík tomorrow for a couple of days in the city. I’ll be back soon for the blueberries!