Where are the Berries?

Huckleberry plants along the North Ridge Trail at Aleza Lake Research Forest.

Is it drought? Is it the late spring frosts we had this year? Perhaps it’s the famous Aleza Lake  mosquitos…?

There  are several disappointed bears and field workers out there who can’t grab and quick snack in the woods this summer – present company included! After several seasons of  abundant huckleberry and blueberry crops at the Research Forest over the past  few years, this  growing season  is turning out  to be quite a change. Not only are the plants not producing berries, some of the patches are actually missing leaves, with the bare stems showing   a carpet if grey like a stand of mountain pine beetle killed trees.  

What happened to the berries? If anyone can answer this question, please post a comment!