It is a New Englander's prerogative to grouse about the weather. We have had a very soggy spring here in the Litchfield Hills. Since April 1st a weather station in Litchfield, CT has recorded 13.6 inches of rain, and 28 days with measurable precipitation. The cool, wet weather settled in as the apples were in blossom, which does not bode well for this year's crop. Vegetation stays damp and the soil saturated. Some plants in my garden, especially the Clematis vine, are now stricken with mold and starting to show signs of rot. I have not had to water my vegetable garden since putting it in plants and seed the week before Memorial Day.
Still, it is not the wettest Spring on record, nor particularly cool in comparison to the seasonal average. We had a drier than normal winter, with just 55.5 inches of snowfall recorded by that same station in Litchfield. It was a heavy spring for pollen and for allergies, and shows signs of being a very productive year for mosquitoes.
Except for the days with heavy rainfall, it has been an excellent spring for cold water fly-fishing, to judge by the anglers who stand at regular intervals in mid- stream between West Cornwall and Cornwall Bridge on any given afternoon. The Housatonic in this stretch resembles a photo shoot for the Orvis catalog, with occasional raft and kayak traffic thrown in for the sake of diversity. Housatonic River Outfitters, Clarke Outdoors, and other businesses that serve recreation activities on the river are adapting to the vagaries of the Housatonic now that the hydro-power plant at Falls Village is managed more ecologically as "run of river" rather than "pond and release."
The rapids were a true hazard a few weeks back and the State police had to shut down access to the river after 5 paddlers capsized in succession during a river race. My colleague Patience Lindholm was in her dry-suit on water rescue duty that day, and it taxed both her stamina and EMS training fishing contestants out of the flood.
The heavy rainfall has presented new challenges to roadside navigation as well. A large beaver dam up on the west slope of Rte 7 gave way a couple of weeks back and tore up a barn and a home in its path before surging across the road and down toward the river. I drove home along River Road on the other side of the Housatonic that afternoon, and the state highway crews spent days shoring up the embankment. I have no doubt that the beavers completed their repairs before the State.