Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Narcissus Valley

May 4, 2019 (Green Ukraine) It is the only place in the the Eastern Europe with natural blooming bushes. Imagine a green carpet which is scattered with a delicate white flowers – not dozens or even thousands of them – such a huge number that it defies calculation. This magnificent picture can only be seen here in April and May, during mass flowering of plants.
In the 1970s, the local authorities decided that the Narcissus Valley should be used for agricultural purposes. When the botanists and environment-protection enthusiasts learned about this decision, they launched a save-the-narcissi campaign, and surprisingly enough, the higher authorities took steps to secure the Valley of Narcissus as a natural preserve. The government passed a decree which made the Valley a part of the Carpathian Natural Preserve, and thus put it under the protection of law. All the same, continuing encroachments considerably reduced the territory of the narcissi preserve from what it was fifty years ago to its present size (now it occupies an area of about 257 hectares, or 643 acres).

In 1980, it was decided that the grasses in the Valley should be regularly mowed and the narcissus section weeded. Thus some of the problems were removed, but others remain. A road that was built to cut across the valley, plus the summer houses at the edges of the Valley reduced the amount of water in the Valley, and it affected the narcissus which began to retreat from some of the places where they used to be in abundance; these flowers also began to produce fewer seeds. Drier conditions and fewer seeds may threaten the narcissus survival and now plans are made to introduce an irrigation system.
The Narcissus Valley flowering spectacle (from 10 to 25 of May) is an unforgettable sight. Many tourists, both from Ukraine and from foreign countries — Canada, Australia, Germany, Austria, and the USA among them, come to Khust to have a look at the wonder flower and to breathe the salubrious air. This nature phenomenon is worth to see it at least once in life!