On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
These are photos of the ongoing volcanic eruption in Iceland taken on March 24 – my birthday. It’s nice to be able to celebrate in such awesome surroundings!
A view of the Geldingadalur eruption from the south coast.
An unexpected snowstorm painted the ground while. When it cleared, the northern lights were glowing above the volcano.
Sibling rivalry: two volcanic cones at the original eruption site.
Lava and Icelandic moss compete for territory in the Geldingadalur valley. The lava is winning.
The surreal shapes of the lake of fire.
“The Universe is cracked. The Pandorica will open; silence will fall.”
Not having actual Icelandic friends,I have been re-reading Dorothy Dunnett’s Niccolo series. Not sure which book, I think it was “Unicorn Hunt” where he went to Scotland, and then points north. Landed when not one but two volcanoes were about to go off.
My ancestors went through a lot, with wars and such, but no volcanoes.
My best childhood memory of Florida was of amazing sunsets. Those were because of volcano in Mexico. I had no idea that it was causing such problems at home.
Gin & Tonic
It was 11 years, I think, since the big explosion of the one whose name I can’t spell, which stranded us in Europe for a week.
Actual peoples’ farms eaten by lava.
Beautiful images. Especially liked the volcano/northern lights pic – our fabulous, ever-changing Earth.
The lava is winning for now, but in the long run, the moss will be the final victor.
we went to Iceland a few years ago, and I was struck by the similarities in the landscape between it and the Hawaiian Islands. Both are isolated basaltic islands which rose in the middle of their respective oceans. The land forms caused by the lava flows that are specific to basalt, the rough and painful aa, and the smooth flows of pahoehoe, are the same in each set of islands. In Iceland, you have the double effect of glaciers, and Hawaii has the jungles, but the bones of the land remains the same.
Excellent photos! I especially like to unique combo of snow, fire, and the Northern Lights. I would love to go back to Iceland.
Fantastic pictures Christopher Matthews! Thanks, and belated Happy Birthday, I can tell it was one to remember ?
@Gin & Tonic: you are right in your timing. It was in 2010 that Eyjafjallajökull erupted
Wow, Northern Lights plus volcano: That is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Congratulations!
Wow! The pictures are amazing, and thank you for sharing them with us. Happy Belated Birthday!
Those are spectacular, especially the Northern lights one as everyone said. Belated Happy Birthday and thank you for sharing these.
You beat me to it.
Those are really awesome photos.
To see an erupting volcano…still on my list but becoming less likely so I will enjoy these pictures as an alternative.
My favorite is also the one with the aurorae blazing away. Thank you for showing them to us.
Amazing pictures. Thank you!
I agree that the one with the Northern Lights is my favorite. Such colors!
I’m so glad you all like the photos. This really is the prettiest place in the world, and the volcano is just making it bigger. You don’t get to become a continent without a little drama. ;)
@cope: I was on the big island when Kilauea was bubbling out a side vent in the late 80s. Got to drive down that steep road to the sea and walk close enough to see the steam from where it flowed into the ocean. It’s amazing how “fast” the pahoehoe breaks down and things begin to grow in the crevices. Go see it if you can
Added: Great photos, many thanks for the virtual visit and especially the Northern Lights.
@Christopher Mathews: Christopher, now that your first comment has been manually approve, future comments will show up right away.
Welcome to commenting! And thanks for the photos.
Great shots. The one with the northern lights is especially amazing. Thanks for letting us see them.
ICYMI, DPReview has a story about a guy using a drone to make a 4k movie. YouTube (4:11).
Awesome photos, thank you!
I seem to recall way back in the 80s airline travel was disrupted for some time by an eruption. Clouds of dust and smoke..??
Wonderful view into another world-
Thank you for sharing these.
Wonderful pix. Since the day that Cheryl (I think) shared that YouTube link, we have had the volcano live video on, almost non-stop. It’s been fascinating to watch the changes over days of lava build up etc.
@pat: I think that was Mt Saint Helens erupting in the early ’80’s. We had fine ash on our cars some mornings in western CO from the eruption in WA. Ash is very troubling to jet engines.
J R in WV
Amazing photos all, but esp. the multi-colored photo of the volcanic glow with the Northern Lights.
Both conditions I really want to see, on the bucket list STILL even tho I’m old, but now really unlikely to see both at once! At least I got a good look at a solar eclipse over in Kentucky not long ago…
I love these photos. I’ve been a daily visitor via the Youtube. It’s been amazing to watch the developments over the past few weeks.
@StringOnAStick: There was also this:
Mentioned in a great book that treats the topic of dust from many vantage points: The Secret Life of Dust, by Hannah Holmes.
Also: great pictures, both interesting and beautiful. The northern lights one is extra special.
Just joining the chorus of “Wow!” here, kicking back with some Wardruna as perfect accompaniment soundtrack to these photos.
My 1:55 was written confusingly. The quote is from this link, not from the book.
Christopher Mathews’s pictures are still beautiful, no confusion about that.
@Gin & Tonic: Oh. I think that’s the same eruption, Eyjafjallajökull in 2010, that diverted my flight from Munich to Frankfurt. And I spent a long night, with the assistance of a kind father & son, navigating my way to Munich, then Kufstein by S Bahn & train. And then to my lodging in Walchsee by taxi at 0100…
Um. Christopher how did you take the close-up photos? Specifically the 4th & 5th images… Were your shoes burning?
No – that’s why God invented telephoto lenses.
… although there was a moment when the wind shifted and I thought I might lose my eyebrows …
Amazing pics, especially the aurora over the volcano. Wow!