Sierra weather is fickle. It can be feast or famine. According to Lisa Berry, wildflower aficionado and Lake Tahoe Community College adjunct instructor, in wildflower terms it can result in a distinct advantage.
Berry has been leading wildflower hikes and studying the area's wildflowers for almost a decade. This year's dry winter season resulted in something she said she has never seen before.
"The light winter did take its toll on the flowers," Berry stated in a press release. "You didn't see the explosions of color like we are used to, but what I found was when the conditions aren't right for the normal flowers they are perfect for other flowers that usually don't get a chance to bloom."
Berry will be talking about her findings and presenting a slideshow of her discoveries on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m. in LTCC's Aspen Room. The talk is free and open to the public.
"One of things that make wildflowers wild is that they like uncontrolled conditions," Berry explained. "It was a fast and furious season. Your timing had to be great. I didn't find the usual lupine and paintbrush, but on the far side of Round Top lake, I found a carpet of the wildflower Veronica where I have only found it occasionally.
"I found that there were other flowers that really enjoy the dry season like angelica, and wall flowers came up in abundance."
Berry said what she likes most about her wildflower hiking class is helping students develop a sense of flowers that they didn't have before.
"Flowers appeal to all the senses," she said. "They invite us to take a closer look at the environment around us."