Wow it’s hot here in NJ. My wife and I recently took the chance to escape the heat by taking a trip to Iceland. The flight is a bit shorter than 1 headed for continental Europe and, during this time of year, the temps hover around the 50s-70s. This was my first visit and it is now certainly 1 of my favorite vacation spots. There are glaciers, lava fields (these have an otherworldly quality), lava caves, volcanoes, hot springs, great food, amazing culture and people. We did, however, walk away from a few restaurants that were selling Minke Whale dishes. Iceland is 1 of the few countries allowed, through the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, to hunt whales.
There is plenty to see in the nearby ocean, whales, puffins, seals etc. but the land-based wildlife is limited to reindeer, birds, rodents and arctic foxes. I was able to shoot a number of bird species but the foxes are extraordinary. These foxes look different from our NJ natives in that their snouts are a bit shorter, their eyes a bit brighter and their coloring manifests in 2 very different varieties. They show as all white for a portion of the year and the rest of the time they have either almost black (called blue) or brown. The Icelandic Artic Fox is not considered a unique species, even though most specimens have a unique genetic makeup. These animals are adapted very well to the arctic with 2 types of fur, short and long, that keep them quite comfortable. They do not shiver until the temps approach the brutal ranges. They, like our NJ natives, do NOT hunt in packs and do not tolerate company. They are still hunted by farmers and even if this were not the case, they are short-lived, with 2-3 years being typical. They do best away from people (of course) and/or along the shorelines where food is plentiful.
For those with an adventurous spirit and an interest in the natural world, Iceland is a great choice for a mid-summer break. Now I just have to convince my wife that it'll be great in the winter too.