laugardagur, nóvember 25, 2006

fléttar

Not braids: lichens. There are, apparently, about 710 varieties of lichen found in Iceland. They have very beautiful names. Here are some:

Alkrókar Álfabikar Álkumerla Bakkafleða Barkardoppa Barmbrydda Barmþekja Bikarkrókar Bikdumba Birkiskán Birkiskegg Birkiskóf Birkitarga Bjargstrý Bládrigla Blámara Bleðlanafli Blekþemba Blikudumba Blýtarga Brekabroddar Broddskilma Brúnkríma Brúnlurfa Brúnrengla Brúnsnurða Búldubreyskja Deiglugrotta Digurkrókar Dílaskóf Dílbreyskja Drýsilbreyskja Dvergkarta Dvergskilma Elgshyrna Engjaskóf Felumara Firnamara Fjallabikar Fjallagrös Fjallahnúta Fjallanafli Fjallaskóf Fjörukregða Fjörustúfa Fjörusverta Flagamóra Flagbreyskja Flannaskóf Flatþemba Flekkugláma Flókakræða Flúðaskorpa Fuglaglæða Fuglagráma Fölvakarta Gamburskilma Gálgaskegg Geitanafli Giljaskóf Gipsglompa Gígnæfra Glitrumara Gljúfraglypja Glóðargrýta Grábleðla Grábreyskja Grábrydda Grákarta Grákrókar Grákúpa Grjónabikar Grjótflíra Grænsverta Græntarga Gulkrókar Gullinvarp Gullmerla Gulstika Hellisglæða Herpitarga Hettuduðra Holtahverfa Hosuskóf Hosuslembra Hraufuskóf Hraunbreyskja Hraunglompa Hreindýrakrókar Hreisturbroddar Hreisturbrydda Hreisturslembra Hrímnafli Hrossanafli Hvítmæra Hæðakirna Jötunflikra Jötunskegg Klappagráma Klappaskilma Klappaslembra Klettadumba Klettaglæða Klettakræða Klettakrækla Klettaskóf Klettastrý Klórengla Korkríla Kóralskán Krónudofra Kryddmerla Krypplugrös Kvistagrös Körtustubbar Lambaskóf Landfræðiflikra Lappamerla Laufduðra Lautabikar Litunarskóf Ljósarða Ljósaskegg Loðbreyskja Loðhverfa Loðtjása Lundatarga Maríugrös Melakræða Melbreyskja Mjólkurskilma Moldarskjóma Mosafleða Mosafrikja Mosagroppa Mosanóra Mosarætla Móakrækla Móaþemba Móbrydda Mókrókar Mundagrös Mývatnsgrös Netjubikar Næfurskóf Ormagrös Perluvoð Pípuþemba Púðabreyskja Randþekja Reyniglæða Roðaslitra Ryðkarta Sáldnafli Seltulauf Setríla Seyrumerla Sinuskán Skarfamerla Skarlatbikar Skeggnafli Skeljaskóf Skollakræða Skorulauf Skútagrýta Sliturglæta Snepaskán Snepaskóf Snæbikar Snækarta Snæþemba Sótakarta Spaðabreyskja Sprekbroddar Spörvatarga Steinmerla Strandgráma Strandkrókar Strandmóra Stúfbikar Surtarkræða Svampgrýta Svarðpíra Svarðsnurða Syllubúlga Sylluslitra Sæmerla Takkafleða Tindanafli Toppaglæta Torfmæra Torfuhnýfla Tröllaskegg Törgudoppa Ullarskóf Vaxklúka Vaxtarga Veggjaglæða Vikurbreyskja Voðarskóf Vætutarga Vætulýja Völukúpa Vörðuflaga Þalmerla Þarmakorpa Þéluskóf Þúfubikar Þúfumerla Þyrpidoppa Æðaskóf


Also lovely is the Icelandic term for a symbiotic organism: sambýlisvera. It is a perfectly logical word for a living thing made up of two organisms living in a relationship of mutual benefit. But while the Greek-derived English word rings only of science, the Icelandic one is domestic, almost affectionate. Sambýli is cohabitation. As a bureaucratic term, it means domestic partnership. You can (indeed, I believe you are required to) register your sambýli with the authorities. That of itself does not sound very cosy, but remember that it assumes you have a sambýlismaður or a sambýliskona, a man or woman who has chosen to live with you in, ideally, a relationship of mutual benefit.

Consider these 710 kinds of lichen living in domestic harmony on the stones and mosses of Iceland, enduring cold and wet. Maybe the homonym fléttar - braids - is appropriate after all. Each one of them is two things wound around each other.

2 ummæli:

tristan sagði...

reading this, my thoughts "erred and strayed, like lost sheep"

Nik sagði...

That's really lovely. Truly. It's a peaceful, comforting image of partnership and relationship - rather than sacharine or 'us together against the world.'

Also, look at all those red dots. Wow!

 
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