Even this late in the season, Mývatn lived up to its name (Midge Lake), but they were only really annoying in low-lying areas near water. Then we wore midge nets.
1 Mývatn, or Midge Lake, deserves its name. The dark spot is a midge right in front of the lens, one of many.
2 John went for a walk in Dimmuborgir, an area of fascinating lava flows on the eastern shore of Mývatn.
3 It was late enough in the season (in Iceland) that autumn colors were coming in. That is Hverfell crater looming in the background.
4 Looks like the rocks must have bubbled and boiled.
5 Beautiful autumn birches set off a lava ring.
6 The paths are not that well marked and one was closed at one point, so John got lost and walked much farther than planned. But it was great -- since he had a midge net. Still, after wandering in the wild, it was good to see people again.
7 The weather was good for a while, so the light was beauitful on the leaves and rocks.
8 The path narrows.
9 Colorful and fragile-looking but sharp rocks
10 Autumn in Dimmuborgir
11 Hverfelll crater (463m) arose in an eruption 2500 years ago.
12 Mývatn is full of small islands, all of volcanic origin.
13 A false crater, or pseudocrater, or rootless vent. There are many of these on the south shore of Mývatn. They result not from a volcanic vent beneath them, but from an explosion when a laterally-flowing lava flow encounters a moist area and explodes.
14 Sunset over the false craters at Skútustaðir on the south shore of Mývatn, where we stayed.
15 Mountains northeast of Mývatn, Hlíðarfjall on the right
16 Höfði, on the eastern shore of Mývatn, is a headland with grass, so goats, and many klasar (lava pillers).
17 ... and the goats.
18 These goats found some shade in a hollow in the rock.
19 Nice pillar and autumn leaves
21 One of the klasar (lava pillars) and autumn colors
23 The table mountain Bürfell is an unmissable landmark east of Mývatn.
24 Hlíðarfjall, on the northeast corner of Mývatn, where the colors of the hills are quite literally unbelievable. In winter, this mountain is a ski station.
25 Must be rhyolite to give those colors.
27 Dalfjall, where plate tectonics are splitting the mountain in two
28 Geothermal plant
29 View over Mývatn, with steam from the geothermal plant on the righ
30 Clear but warm (45°C) waters of Grjótagjá, a cave in a fissure east of Mývatn
31 The fissure in which Grjótagjá lies points directly towards Hlíðarfjall.
32 At night, the clouds are illuminated by the eruptions at Bárðarbunga and Holuhraun.
33 The day we left, we decided to drive around the lake first and we were glad we did. We happened upon the annual sheep roundup, when sheep owners collect and sort out the sheep they have left to roam freely all summer.
35 Never saw so many sheep in one place before in our lives.
36 Herding them onto trailers...
37 ... or herding them up the road. Curious, no sheep dogs.