Cascading Waters can be found at 135 Olean Street on the eastern edge of Worcester's northwest parklands, the Cascades. The Cascades are 350 acres of park and conservation lands along the borders of Worcester, Paxton, and Holden, Massachusetts. Home to countless species of plants and animals, the Cascades are open to passive recreation year-round.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Cool, with Showers Coming

It was a busy weekend!
From Friday's Ecotarium Festival to the Saturday Crow Hill Cleanup, with some training thrown in for good measure!
The Tatnuck Island Club had a CleanUp of Cook's Pond this past Saturday as well!


This week promises to be a big deal as well.
Theoretically, within the limits of human ability, this should be the final step in the conserving of Worcester's Last Farm.
I am almost too skittish to write it out, but there it is.
Cross your fingers hikers, photographers, animal lovers, cultural historians, gardeners, and hearty local folk. This is the moment, God willing.


The hiking should be great today, cool, not terribly wet (yet!) with Bloodroot, and Skunk Cabbage livening the landscape, and the Trout lily leaves (a varigated green and purplish mottled color) are emerging, and the yellow flowers should not be too far behind.


Hopefully the rains will hold off for our friends at the Clark Outing Club, as tonight is their end of the academic season Marshmallow Roast, which they have on the Clark Common ("Red Square") tonight.


Mostly we are just holding our breath to see the big project through to completion though. That is the primary focus.



Trailhead Conditions at 7:30 a.m. at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):

Temperature 46.2 degrees F and steady;
Humidity 53% and steady;
Pressure 29. 47" of Hg and steady;
Wind is siring but not registering wind speed
Skies are overcast;
Cascades are flowing;
The Cascades Brook is flowing in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is HIGH.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Showers likely, mainly after noon.
Cloudy, with a high near 53.
Northwest wind around 10 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 60%.
New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Overcast With Birds

The skies are overcast but the birds are singing away.
The Blood root is in bloom and the the Cascades are flowing.

CROW HILL

Yesterday was a busy day for the Trust!
Our Volunteer, Nick, was our on the ground manager for a cleanup at Crow Hill.
The Worcester geocachers agreed to take on Crow Hill as a CITO event (Cache-In, Trash-Out.)
They were joined by a team from Holy Cross students as part of Holy Cross Cares Day.
They got a ton of work done!

GRIPHOIST TRAINING

Yesterday also saw Colin out at Wachusett Mountain with the Appalachian Mount Club Worcester Chapter taking a Griphoist Class. More or less this is the art of moving enormously heavy objects and getting rocks to fly through the air.


TED

Ted reported in from "The Barn" restaurant and is continuing his trek up the Appalachian Mountains. tedatgwlt.blogspot.com

7:30 a.m. Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 39.5 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 51% and steady;
Pressure is 29.50" of Hg and steady;
There is movement of air, but no mph registering;
Skies are overcast;
The Cascades are still flowing;
Both channels in the Cascades Brook are flowing;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


The National Weather Service Forecast:

A chance of showers, mainly after 3pm.
Partly sunny, with a high near 56.
Northwest wind 5 to 7 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 30%.
New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Chilly but sunny

Still chilly and windy here today, 'though we're running out of April. Nice day for a hike, but layer up, as it will be a chilly start.
At 7:30 am, it is 35 degrees and rising.
The humidity is 51% and steady.
The barometer is 29.62 inches of mercury under clear skies.
Wind in the observed period ranged from 0.5 to 2.5 MPH.

The US Forest Service Fire Danger for today is HIGH.
Today's NWS forecast: Mostly sunny, with a high near 53. Northwest wind around 11 mph.

We'll have a crew out today with Working for Worcester, and we're also getting some experience in with using a grip hoist out at Mount Wachusett. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Grey, Cold, & Windy

Well, it is a cold, grey, and windy start to today.
But, it will warm up some.
It is honestly a great day for a vigorous hike that will push you physically as the cool and wind will help you from overheating. Just be careful if you stop for a break!

Oh, and yesterday a chipmunk was making the most of the bird seed raid, when he found himself noticed, only he was at the bottom of the seed bin! So he just stayed as still as possible and pretended he wasn't really there, hoping we would catch on!



MORE EARTH DAY
Today GWLT will be having a table and a presence at the latest of the local Earth Day events. It is more like an Earth Fortnight than a 24 hour day!

Today's location will be the Ecotarium, which is exciting given the land conservation work the City, the Trust, and the Ecotarium have been engaged in. Crow Hill, across the street from the Ecotarium has become a considerable City conservation asset!

If you are going to be there stop by to say "Hi!"

TED
Ted reported in from the AT having passed through the Grayson Highlands! tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


Trailhead Conditions at 7:30 a.m. at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 35.8 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 51% and steady;
Pressure is 29.56" of Hg and steady;
Wind is blowing from 1.0 mph up to 6.5 mph in the observation period;
Skies are overcast;
Cascades have flow;
Water is flowing in both channels in the Cascades Brook;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is HIGH.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly cloudy, with a high near 50.
Northwest wind 10 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Windy, Sunny, But Overall Pleasant

Funny weather for the next several days, with an unlikely, but possible, chance of frost, of all things.

It is pretty great weather for hiking though!

Last night some mid-sized, and very clever, mammal decided to explore our front porch, and managed to pry the lid off of the metal canister that contains bird feed. Being the middle of the night, we heard it, but managed to think of a thousand completely innocuous reasons for the noise before dozing back off. The impressive part of this feat is that the lid is pretty challenging to remove, and that is with the benefit of opposable thumbs! The lid is also tight enough where its removal may have been entirely speculative, as it is hard to believe that there was much, if any, scent getting through there.

The squirrels finished off the feast, and there is nothing to cleanup.

Another crisis averted!

This is a good reminder that birdfeeders are now out of season as it is bear season!
(I don't think ours was a bear, though I can't prove it.)


Trailhead Conditions at 8:30 a.m. at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):

Temperature 42.4 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 55% and falling;
Pressure is 29.47" of Hg and steady;
Wind is variable between 1-2.5 mph;
Skies are a mix of mostly clear with some clouds;
The Cascades are flowing;
The Cascades Brook is flowing in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Isolated showers, mainly between 2pm and 3pm.
Mostly cloudy, with a high near 49.
West wind 14 to 16 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day (actual date, not Worc. Earth Day observed)

So, Worcester is a funny place.
We celebrate the 4th of July on the 3rd,
We celebrate First Night on the last night of the year,
and, among other things, we almost never celebrate Earth Day on Earth Day.

I love the reason why!

I don't know about your email box this morning, but mine had advertisements to buy something for Earth Day, and non-profit promotional pitches to feel good about the Earth.
Worcester's Earth Day is a City Wide Spring Cleaning of trash, especially in our public open places, like forests, rivers, ponds, parks, even median strips!
This means that our Earth Day will always be on a Saturday to maximize volunteer participation, and to make the might of the DPW available to bear on the effort.
We go after new debris, and old problems, and little by little, decade after decade, we have managed to dig our way out of a lot of accumulated funk.
For us Earth Day is synonymous with CleanUp of the outdoors!

At Cascades East alone we managed to haul over 2100 lbs of old metal out of there, and dozens and dozens of bags of assorted debris, and the site has never looked better.
That is just one location in a City of locations.
THAT is Earth Day!
So, happy Earth Day! real or observed.

EVENT

Today GWLT is at the Earth Day Festival at the UMASS Med Campus on Lake Quinsigamond with Gordon and Mary working the table! If you are down there say "hi!"


WEATHER NOTE

CHANCE OF HAIL LATER TODAY!!!


TED'S AT TREK

Ted's AT Trek Blog is now full of photos again thanks to his stop in Damascus, VA! tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 11:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 65.5 and rising;
Humidity is 34% and steady;
Pressure is 29.59" of Hg and steady;
The wind is moving along with a max at 9.0 mph;
The sky is clear;
The Cascades are flowing nicely!;
The Cascades Brook is flowing in both channels and there is good volume!;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Scattered showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 4pm.
Some of the storms could produce small hail.
Increasing clouds, with a high near 60.
South wind 14 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 60%.
New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mother Nature Takes a Well Deserved Drink

Yesterday and last night saw considerable rain, and some of the rain and thunderstorms last night were quite impressive!

Our farmer in the Tatnuck Valley was commenting yesterday, as we fed the chickens and geese, that after the snows we had what amounted to a small drought. Warm and dry with little rain to speak of.

True enough!

All of the tree buds were waiting for rains to swell and pop, and everything has been in a state of arrested spring.

Well! We took care of that!

You may note that the woods smell different today.
It had been so dry that there was little activity of the fungus and bacteria that are prolific in the forest floor, and suddenly they have been brought back, and the air is different.

Trail Work

Despite yesterday evening's trail work getting rained out, earlier in the day some great work got done!

Yesterday a crew of Dynamy students worked on fixing a wet trail crossing on the East Side Trail, and oddly enough had the perfect conditions to do it, RAIN!

Seeing where the water stands, flows, is blocked, and naturally was supposed to go is so much easier to do in the rain!

Ted's AT Trek

Ted reported in from the AT yesterday, and we are sorting through the photos he sent back. They should be going up over the next day or two. tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


8:30 am Conditions at the Cascading Waters Trailhead (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 51.4 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 98% and steady;
Pressure is 29.38" of Hg and steady;
The air is still;
We have fog, lots of fog!;
The Cascades are roaring away nicely!;
The Cascades Brook is swollen and flowing in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is an unsurprising LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

A chance of showers, mainly between 1pm and 5pm.
Patchy dense fog before 2pm.
Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 62.
West wind 7 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 40%.
New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Post

Yesterday there was quite the swarm of activity around here!

We had a Clean Up at Cascades East, Coes Reservoir, & Sherer Trail, while our buddies just to the south had a Clean Up at God's Acre. We even ended up with an impromptu Clean Up of KinneyWoods!
Still Early On - There were MANY more!
Just SOME of the Scrap Metal to be Recycled

There were folks from the Clark University Outing Club, the WPI Beta Theta Pi, GWLT Volunteers, and Tatnuck Neighbors!

Thanks to everyone who made all of this possible! Without so many hands and so many wheelbarrows none of this could happen!

Then there was a BBQ.

Finally, after some minor straightening, all became still.
Blood root

Right now the Cascades have been hopping with folks out for a short walk to see the falls! A small "neighbor-debris" walk-the-line pickup (a distasteful (in that it does not put one in a neighborly frame of mind), but necessary aspect of stewardship.)

While it is sunny, it is cool, and there is a wind.

The Fire Danger chilled out a bit to just MEDIUM.

Enjoy folks!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Earth Day! Come join us at a clean up!

We're up bright and early today for the 26th annual Earth Day Clean ups, organized by the REC! GWLT is running clean ups starting at 8:30 am at Coes Reservoir (off of Englewood Ave) and at Cascades East (right off Olean Street).
And yes, Cascades East could use wheelbarrows still!
And at noon, come back to Cascading Waters for a cookout!

It is a GORGEOUS day!
At 7:30 am, it is 51.8 degrees and rising.
77% humidity and falling
The barometer is 29.8 inches of mercury and steady
Very light wind: 1.5 mph during period observed.
Fire danger is HIGH

NWS out of Boston is forecasting: 
Sunny, with a high near 70. Calm wind becoming west 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Rainy Start, But We Needed It

Today is off to a rainy start, but with the ground so dry, and the leaf litter unchecked by green growth, we really needed it!

Besides, now all of the buds and flowers will pop, the grasses will re-emerge, and the moss will turn deep green.

EARTH DAY CLEANUPS

We need wheel barrows!
If you can spare or share a wheel barrow for a day, please know that they are absolutely CRITICAL to being able to extract the craziness from up on Casacdes East!
We will be out at Cascades East from 9-12 on Olean Street and heading in and dragging out all manner of interesting stuff!
Your help would be great too!
Afterwards there will be a BBQ at the Lodge just down the street!

Ted is BACK!

Ted checked in yesterday and has been cruising right along and is now 418.5 miles into the ST and is done with North Carolina! tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


Trailhead Conditions at 7:30 am at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 51.3 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 80% and steady;
Pressure is 29.88" of Hg and falling;
The skies are overcast and it is spitting rain lightly;
The Cascades are flowing, though with only a little water;
The Cascades Brook is still flowing in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MEDIUM.


The National Weather Forecast is:

Showers likely, mainly before noon.
Cloudy, with a high near 62.
West wind 10 to 16 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 70%.
New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sunny Day and Flowers Blooming!

More flowers are blooming!
We now have native Bloodroot!
The ornamental crocuses and others have been popping up in the yard as well!

(photo of Periwinkles)

This morning is sign and timberwork at Cascading Waters from 9-12!

Saturday is Earth Day Cleanups at Cascades East from 9-12!
   Followed by a BBQ at Cascading Waters!
   We will be meeting at the Cascades East property sign on Olean Street near the Holden Line! Come join us, and if you can't make it please consider loaning a wheel barrow!

Amusing Aside: Today the Fire Danger is less extreme, though it was amusing to see that someone made the paper down south of us for having a burn pile without a burn permit on a Red Flag and Very High Fire Danger Day! Yeah, surprise surprise, it got away from him and required over 15,000 gallons of water. (That sounds like a lot, but is more or less a typical backyard swimming pool's worth.)

 Still waiting on word from Ted on his way to VA tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


7:30 am Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 36.5 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 52% and steady;
Pressure is 30.30" of Hg and steady;
Wind is still;
Sky is sunny and clear;
Cascades are running;
Cascades Brook is flowing in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is HIGH.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 64.
Calm wind becoming south 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Red Flag Warning : Fire Danger VERY HIGH

Red Flag Day!
Today is forecast as a VERY HIGH Fire Danger!
Today would be a very bad choice of a day to have a brush pile burning or an outdoor fire.
BUT, the exciting part is we get to hang out the orange sign!

Tomorrow is Sign and Timberhewing at Cascading Waters from 9-12!

Saturday is Earth Day Cleanups at Cascades East on Olean Street at the Holden line from 9-12 with a BBQ at Cascading Waters afterwards!

No word from Ted tedatgwlt.blogspot.com

Trailhead conditions at 6:30 am at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 39.2 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 51% and steady;
Pressure is 29.91" of Hg and steady;
Wind is stirring but not registering in mph;
Cascades are flowing, but light volume;
Cascades Brook is flowing in both channels;
Skies are clear;
Fire Danger is VERY HIGH!


National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 62. North wind around 10 mph.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Soft Rain, Open Water

About 6:30 a soft rain started to fall and the dry soils, exposed to the winds and the sun, are now happily taking it all in, even if it isn't all that much.

This time of year even a modest amount of rain makes all of the plant life turn an iridescent green, and that would be wonderful! If it rained hard we would get to see the buds swell, but I don't think that is in the cards today.

This morning Cook's Pond is almost entirely open water, with almost no traces of ice remaining. That was a very quick melt off for the pond! Even this weekend there was a partly submerged coat of ice nearly covering the pond. Poof! Spring!

SIGN WORK & TIMBERWORK - THURSDAY

This Thursday is going to be sign and timberwork at the Lodge, and we start at 9:00 am and run until noon. It is supposed to be a beautiful day, so come on by and chip in on some trail signs and property signs and other assorted signs that make the woods intelligible for folks.

EARTH DAY - SATURDAY

This Saturday is our Annual Earth Day Cleanup!
There will be folks at Coes Reservoir, Sherer Trail, and Cascades East!
Our primary enterprise is YEAR 3 of the Cascades East cleanup work!
9 am - noon, followed by a BBQ at the Lodge at Cascading Waters for the Volunteers!

Now, Cascades East was preserved in a little "rough" shape, and has been an ongoing restoration project...
Don't get me wrong, there was a certain "cultural history" to the rusted tricycles and upside down bread truck deep in the woods, but that "je ne sais quoi" isn't really great in terms of land management and conservation practices.

REQUEST!!!!
We could really use WHEEL BARRELS/ WHEEL BARROWS!!!
Even is you can not join us Saturday morning, if your wheel barrel could it would be much loved as an instrument of extracting the debris out of the woods.

Cascades East Factoid: in between last Earth Day and this Earth Day (what we call the "off season") 5050 lbs of metal were recycled out of Cascades East!

If you count the metal and tires and debris taken out in the past 2 years of Earth Days, and count the large metal hauler who took out the vehicles, a huge mount of work has been done up there!

TED on the AT

No word from Ted on the AT, but that is also tied to his being in more rural terrain and his cell carrier being less excited about rural coverage. We will let you know when next we hear from him on his walk towards Damascus, VA. tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


8:00 am Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 52.7 degrees F and falling;
Humidity is 75% and rising;
Pressure is 29.94" and steady;
Wind is moving but not registering mph;
Skies are overcast, and there is an occasional light rain falling;
The Cascades are running;
The Cascades Brook is flowing in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is still MEDIUM.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Showers likely, mainly before noon.
Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 65.
West wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 70%.
New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.


Monday, April 13, 2015

More Beautiful Weather! Poetry Walk/Hike!

The crocuses have begun to spring up!


Finally the weather is fitting of Spring!

You really can't go wrong embracing the weather an heading outside.

At 5pm this evening, local poet Jenith Charpentier is leading a Poetry Walk/Hike with a sit down on the platform below the falls. Meet up at the Lodge at Cascading Waters to set out!

Ted had a well deserved loafing day on the AT yesterday, making the most of a magnificent spot and great weather to just enjoy the moment. tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


7:30 a.m. Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):

The temperature is 41.2 degrees F and steady;
The humidity is 64% and steady;
The pressure is 30.18" of Hg and steady;
The wind is still;
The sun is shining in a blue sky with some high altitude clouds;
The Cascades are running;
The Cascades Brook is flowing in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MEDIUM.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 65. 
Southwest wind 7 to 14 mph.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Beautiful Sunday!

Yesterday was a busy one for the Trust!

EAST SIDE TRAIL SYSTEM

In the morning we met with Wellesley College representatives and GWLT volunteers for a Spring run-though of the East Side Trail system.

The main stem of the East Side Trail generally gets attention but the Millstone Trail and the Ghost Trail haven't had as much attention, and so that is where we started. Also, long-term, the Parks Department is going to rejigger the golf course greens out by the hairpin turn on Skyline Drive, and the yellow spur trail there is in places going under the saw, and in others just a wee bit too close to the golf hole. As a preemptive act we switched the end of the yellow spur to start just a short hop further south on Skyline Drive. The old blazes were removed, the new trail was blazed in yellow, and the whole of the spur was repainted for clarity.

We cut some blow downs, collected some trash, cleared deadfall, trimmed back branches, and generally spiffied things up!

COOKS POND CONSERVATION RESTRICTION

About a year and a half ago, inspired by Elsie Uffleman, a neighbor and member of Cooks Pond, we started to push back against the forested edge that had jumped the stone wall, marched to the curb, and began growing into Olean Street, in some cases even leaning out into traffic. Trees love sun, and these trees were on the march!

Well, there is only so much you can get done in a work day (that turned into two), and even the portion we cleared had trees that we just hadn't been able to get to. Besides, the trees never sleep, and new shoots and new branches were already making there way back out to Olean Street!

So yesterday we went out and recut the section we worked on a year and a half ago. Amusingly, the idea had been to expand upon the work done to date and to clear more of the frontage, but a half-day's work proved that holding the line and improving the work done to date would take all of the time allotted and then some!

KINNEYWOODS CAMPING:

Troop 37 out of Tatnuck Square spent Friday to Sunday camping out at Kinneywoods!

It is wonderful to have kids introduced to Greater Worcester's wilder side! And it is great to have this sort of use available for folks! If you even are curious, yes, some GWLT properties do allow for camping by permission, and yes, you can ask!



Glad the Troop 37 folks had such great weather!


Trailhead Conditions at 7: 00 am at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 33.1 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 70% and steady;
Pressure is 30.03" of Hg and steady;
Wind is stirring, but no mph are registering;
The sky is clear, and the sun is out;
The Cascades are running;
The Cascades Brook is flowing in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MEDIUM.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 66. West wind 9 to 11 mph.