Polonyna of the Ukrainian Carpathians

© Thilo Brunner

"'Polonyna' is one of those wonderful words to be found like gems in other languages that don’t translate to a single word in English. It refers to the alpine meadows on the high slopes and rolling ridgetops typical of the Carpathians, opened by shepherds and their livestock since at least the fifteenth century, and embroidered with wildflowers such as buttercups, gentians, wild pansies, and the endemic and very purple Carpathian snowbell (Soldanella carpatica) and Carpathian bellflower (Campanula carpatica), and enlivened with animals such as alpine shrews (Sorex alpinus), Tatra pine voles (Microtus tatricus), and beautiful (and increasingly rare) Apollo butterflies (Parnassius apollo), and still used as pasture when the snow is gone."

— pages 184-185, Into the Carpathians, Part 1
© Alan E. Sparks