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Iceland - Fields of Lupine at 12.10 AM Misty Sunset | by © Lucie Debelkova /
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Iceland - Fields of Lupine at 12.10 AM Misty Sunset

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A common sight throughout much of Iceland during June/July is large fields of vibrant purple nootka, or Alaskan lupine. The flower looks at home in this landscape, but was actually introduced in 1945 to lowland areas in the southwest as a means to add nitrogen to the soil and also to function as an anchor for organic matter. Lupine has since flourished here, spreading to other regions like a wildfire, in almost effortless competition with the other species already in residence. Critics of this initiative view the flower as an invasive species that is threatening low-growing mosses and other native plants. Erosion is the gravest environmental problem Iceland faces today. Foliage loss, and ultimately soil erosion, occurs across the island, due largely to the extreme conditions of the environment, in particular the high winds. Some cite the free-ranging sheep as an added threat, with their constant grazing on already scant plant growth. Measures have been taken to encourage new growth that would create anchors for the remaining soil, but these approaches have been controversial.


We all have photos in our mind we want to take, way before we actually visit the place. Lupine fields were definitely one of those visions for me before going to Iceland. After arrival to Iceland I had a chance to photograph some fields with reasonably good light before this shot, however when we stopped at this scene, I knew it was a winner for me. It was bit adventurous as we had to cross an electric fence (functioning) to get to this field, for that we have been rewarded with amazing light, misty mood, beautiful colors in the sky and nearly no wind which allowed me to take 10s exposure without blurring lupine flowers.


Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark II; Lens: EF17-40mm f/4L USM; Focal length: 23.00 mm; Aperture: 16; Exposure time: 10.0 s; ISO: 100


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Taken on June 28, 2009