Sunset/sunrise in Iceland

When traveling around the Iceland, I was fortunate enough to observe the sunset and sunrise as I had only one clear night. This happened on 15. june, that is still few days away from solstice when the day is the longest in the year. At that time I was in the most northern part of my trip (near Sauðárkrókur) and that also helped to further lengthen the time that the Sun was above the horizon.

The Sun is still about a degree above the horizon at 01:10 local time.

Not knowing the exact direction to the north (only rough direction) and the path by which the Sun will move across the sky, I selected the observing location at the beach that had the most unobstructed horizon in the northward way.

Start of the sunset at 01:25 LT.

The whole sunset took more than half an hour. Truly, I did not expect for it to be so sluggish, and the angle between the horizon and path of the Sun to be so small. The most remarkable was a color of the Sun surface just before it completely set and when it begun to rise. It’s surface shone with a intense green color, probably due to large refraction differences at the horizon.

End of sunset at 02:00 LT.

The Sun was actually bellow the horizon for just about 15 minutes. During that time there was no apparent visual change in the brightness of the sky.

Sunrise was happening behind some cliffs in the middle of the sea at 02:30 LT.

Sun is slowly raising in the sky, but still partially obscured by the cliffs at 02:45 LT.

Colorful Sunrises and Sunsets

This month we could see some very colorful sunrises and sunset.

Sunset, 25. December 2014
Equipment: Nikon D3000, Tokina 11-16 @ 16mm, f/2.8 ISO200
Sunset, 25. December 2014
Equipment: Nikon D3000, Tamron 70-300 @ 300mm, f/5.6 ISO800
Moon at sunset, 25. December 2014
Equipment: Nikon D3000, Tokina 11-16 @ 16mm, f/2.8 ISO800
Sunset, 31. December 2014

Sunset, 31. December 2014

Noctilucent clouds 4 July 2014

Noctilucent clouds are clouds that can be seen in summer from July to August, shortly after the sunset or before sunrise. They are located much higher than normal clouds, at a height of approximately 80 km, therefore seen when the Sun illuminates their the bottom side.

Object: Noctilucent clouds
Date: 4 July 2014 01:25 UT
Equipment: Nikon D3000, Nikkor 18-55mm@55mm, f/5.6, ISO 800, 30s
Object: Noctilucent clouds
Date: 4 July 2014 01:36 UT
Equipment: Nikon D3000, Nikkor 35mm, f/1.8, ISO 200, 10s

Object: Noctilucent clouds
Date: 4 July 2014 01:45 UT
Equipment: Nikon D3000, Nikkor 35mm, f/2.5, ISO 200, 15s

Condition of the forests, damaged by sleet – June 2014

After the sleet at the beginning of this year, satellite imagery shows large brown patches of the land, where last year they were green and covered in vegetation. To assess the extent of the damage, we went to the most affected area.

From the images bellow it is clearly visible that the only things still standing are bare tree trunks without any canopy. It is slowly starting to regrow where the branches were broken off, but it will take at least 5-10 years for canopy to grow to its previous state. Many man hours were and will still be spent on cleaning the undergrowth to prevent the European spruce bark beetle from destroying the remaining coniferous trees.

Forest
Forest
Forest

Forest

Wild garlic Pesto

Wild garlic in forest.

Ingredients:

  • 250 g fresh wild garlic or any other herbs (e.g. basil, nettle …)
  • 100 g nuts or seeds (e.g. pine nuts, sunflower seeds, unsalted pistachio nuts, Indian nuts …)
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • few garlic cloves
  • salt, pepper

Roasting sunflower seeds

This pesto is fast, super easy to make and bursting with fresh herb flavor. First roast the nuts to make them crunchier and bring out their taste and flavor. Combine the wild garlic, garlic cloves and fresh wild garlic leaves in food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the olive oil, freshly grated Parmesan and process until the mixture is fully incorporated and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pesto can be used immediately or transferred in airtight glass jar and stored in refrigerator for up to few months.

Finished product in glass jar.

Worst winter ever for Slovenian forests

In the beginning of February heavy sleet covered majority of the forest. Freezing cold held almost half of the country in a tight grip for days and caused thousands of the trees to be crushed under the weight of snow and ice. About 40 % of woodlands have been damaged in natural disaster. Damage was not caused only to the woods. Fallen trees disconnected many telephone and power lines, cutting off the electrical supply for entire villages.

In my location, conditions fortunately were not catastrophic. Branches have accumulated less than 2 cm of sleet in contrast to the the worst locations where the accumulated sleet was approximately 10 cm thick. Nevertheless, walking in the woods was scary as you could hear loud sounds of breaking branches all around you.

Sleet on deciduous trees
Sleet on deciduous trees

Sleet on deciduous trees