Previous
INTO THE CARPATHIANS

(Slovakia)
Vily

© Jürgen Sauer

"At first—or at second, after ruling out nuclear war—we assume the culprit must be questionable forestry practices, but later we learn the trees succumbed to a windstorm last fall.
        What a storm it must have been! Legions and legions brought low. In fact, it was an extreme example of a halny, as they are known in the Tatra Mountain region: Warm, downslope blows generally known as “foehn winds” but with many local names (e.g., “chinook” in the Rocky Mountain region of America, “Santa Ana” in the Californias). They are usually caused by dramatic changes in pressure and temperature when humid air flows up and over and then down mountains, but here in the Carpathians they may have more devious instigators: Vily (wiły in Polish): Lithe, seductive, easily-offended, and often winged nymphs who are sort of cloud- or mountain-dwelling West- and South-Slavic versions of the aquatic rusalki we met in Ukraine."

— page 100, Into the Carpathians, Part 2, © Alan E. Sparks.

Previous