Patricia Prijatel

Writer, Reader, Watcher

President Franklin Roosevelt called forests the “lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” Forests absorb potentially dangerous carbon dioxide while producing healthy oxygen. They trap dust, ash, pollen, and smoke, keeping them out of the air and our lungs.  According to American Forests, a single tree can produce …

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It’s 2 a.m. and I am working at a hotel desk in Postojna, Slovenia. I am a college professor from Iowa and I know only halting Slovene, but should anybody need help at this hour, I have all the vocabulary I might need: ne vem and ne razumem—I don’t know and I don’t understand. Jure, the regular desk …

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Giant Evergreens from Tiny Pinecones Grow

January 13, 2017

In the years after a fire, the remaining trees overproduce pinecones to help re-propagate the forest. This photo shows the road in front of our cabin. The trees next to the road were spared fire damage and have thrown off huge bounties of pinecones every year since the East Peak fire of 2013.

Winds as high as 90 mph again hit the East Spanish Peak last week. That’s hurricane level. Last year’s winds did this: topped off the trees that had been burned in the East Peak Fire of 2013. Most made it to the ground, but a few remain hanging like natural guillotines.

Old paths are such comforts. Losing them feels like losing the coziness of an old friendship. Today we took a new path through the woods and got a bit lost. The familiar markers were gone and their comfort and clarity gone with them. That’s often the way with forging a trail—you get easily disoriented. But …

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