I've been doing some berry picking these last few days. There aren't as many berries this year as there have been in previous years. I dont know for sure, but I think it is because the weather has been hotter and drier than usual. In previous years, when walking around out on the tundra, it always felt like a squishy sponge, a bit bouncy as you stepped. This year it is hard and crackly as I walk through it. I have been able to collect two ziplock sandwich baggies full of blueberries, which is about half as much as would have collected in previous years by spending the same amount of time out berry picking.
The mosquitos have been tenacious in their defense of the tundra blueberries. Every time my foot met with the tundra a cloud of mosquitos were uncovered. I was wearing my mud boots, long pants, and a long sleeve shirt to keep myself from getting bit. It didnt work. Picking berries involves alot of bending over. Unfortunately, the mosquitos were able to bite my right through my pants and now my butt is covered with mosquito bites. UNBELIEVABLE!