The wild rabbit is really native to Northwest Africa, but the Ancient Romans introduced them to large parts of Europe. Not to Norway, rightly enough: the population on Fedje originated from 3-4 pairs that were brought here from the Shetland Isles in 1875, making this their first residence in the country.
If you journey along Austfjorden, you at the same time turn the pages of time back through Ice Age history. The landforms show how the landscape has developed gradually as the glaciers have grown - and melted again - in several episodes: from small cirques, we see innermost at Dyrdal, to larger fjords, like at Mas fjord further out.
The eclogites in western Norway were formed when Precambrian basement rocks were squeezed and pressed down under great pressure deep under the Caledonian mountain chain. The process may well have triggered some of the deepest earthquakes the world has ever known. The clearest traces of this drama are found in and around Mt. Eldsfjellet, in peaceful Meland.
The mountains of western Norway are lovely to wander in. In Cambro-Silurian time it was the mountain itself that wandered. The mountain, or more correctly the bedrock, first moved eastward, then back a bit westward again. All this rocking back and forth in the mountains ended about 400 million years ago.
Eksingedalen alternates between wide, flat flood plains with good farmland, and narrow passages with waterfalls where the roads cling to the mountainsides. The alternations in the landscape are a result of the sculpturing work by glaciers over several ice ages, and the deposition of the glacial river deposits when the last glacier finally melted back.
Some decades ago, Veafjord and the currents in toward the bigger rivers were the most likely places to see harbour seals in Hordaland. In the summer flocks lay on the beach and waited for the salmon to trickle in. Sometimes they also followed the fish a little way up the river.