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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Birthday! (Celebrate with MORE SNOW!)

One year ago today we posted the first of the GWLT Lodge at Cascading Waters observations.
What a cool year it has been!

Floods, 
Ice Storms,
Snow Storms,
Wind Blasts,
Coyotes,
Deer,
Hawk attack!,
Disappearing Ponds,
No phone,
No electricity,

and that is just the stuff that pops to mind.

Well it has been fun!


The conditions for today as of 9 a.m.:
21.2 degrees F and steady;
73% humidity and rising;
29.53" of Hg and falling;
5.2" in the Cascades Brook;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.

We had only a dusting at 9 a.m., so we waited and measured again at 11 a.m. and had 1/2" at that point.

Since 9 a.m. :
the temperature has fallen to 19.2 degrees F,
the humidity has risen to 80%,
the pressure has fallen to 29.41" Hg,

and the beat goes on!


We were already on track to have a higher than typical precipitation for 2008, and that was BEFORE the storm started adding to the totals!

A final precipitation tally will be made tomorrow for 2008!
Sit tight.

Enjoy the snow.

We are about to fire up the fieldstone fireplace here at the Lodge.

Happy New Years!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snow, again

This morning was a pleasant surprise.
Look out over the world wrapped in a white blanket of snow.
Presently it is melting in the sun,
but more is on the way!

The National Weather Service is thinking we might get some 4-6" over the course of tomorrow.

The conditions here at Cascading Waters as of 9:00 a.m. were:

Blue skies, windy;
Pressure of 29.53" and steady;
Humidity of 52% and falling;
Temperature of 36.9 degrees F and rising;
USFS Fire Danger Class of LOW.

There is not so much snow as to prove a hindrance for trail or parking area.
The trails are still in poor shape from the ice storm.

There is a vehicle at the lot right now, and the joggers went through recently.

So hang onto your hat and await the coming snows!

- - - - - - -
UPDATE:

Cascades Brook Depth as of 12:00 p.m. was 6"

Monday, December 29, 2008

More warmth!

The game for today is.... find any sign of snow having recently been here!

Presently the weather conditions at 9:00 a.m. are:

29.85" of Hg and steady;
37.8 degrees F and rising;
63% humidity and falling;
7.2" in the Cascades Brook;
USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE;
Steady breeze, blue skies with high altitude clouds.

The ground is very soft and wet.

The parking area is open.

- - - - - - - -

I did a little back research with the National Weather Service up at the Airport to try and get a sense of just how strong the wind was that took out the tipi covering. The highest recorded wind gust for that period was 54 mph. Now wind speed is a very localized thing, and we aren't the airport, but that gives an order of magnitude as to what likely took it out. I can live with that level of iffy-ness, though the next time I may use a more durable material. 

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Ground!?

That's right!
The Ground!

It is still there, has been all along.

And now we can see it.

Sadly we can also now see all of the branches and storm debris as well.

As of 10 a.m. this morning the conditions were:
37 degrees F and steady;
98% humidity and steady;
30.24" of mercury and steady;
USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE;
raining;
With the Cascades Brook is 6.6" at high pulse as of 1:00 p.m. (was 6.2" at 11:30 a.m.).

The trails are getting hikers.

Presently as of 3:15 p.m. the weather is warmer:
42.4 degrees F and steady;
98% humidity and steady;
30.12" of mercury and falling.

More warmth and melting are in our future.

The Cascades still have some ice formations, and have some water crashing, and it is a nice mix.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day Weather

Overcast, wandering between warm and cold with the intermittent sun, with a light breeze.

The conditions as of 10 a.m. are:
31.3 degrees F and rising;
62% humidity and falling;
30.50" of mercury and steady;
USFS Forest Fire Danger Class is LOW;
The Cascades Brook is between 6.6" and 6.8" as the stream flow pulses;

The Cascades Brook is flowing nicely.

The tipi covering was tossed roughly back into place for now.

There is one clear space in the lower lot, and the snow is shallow enough where folks are parking in a covered space down below as well.

There have been hikers going back and forth, and overall conditions are fairly nice for a walk.

Oh, and as for Boxing Day....
In Great Britain and the Commonwealth Countries the day after Christmas is Boxing Day and is celebrated as a day for gathering.
We here at the Lodge will be enjoying the under-celebrated holiday.

Freezing rain is expected for midnight or thereabouts.
Be forewarned!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Melt Ends

After a whole day and night of rain and warmth, the snow pack was greatly reduced this morning.

Consequently the Cascades Brook was way up to 9" even.
The second channel of the Cascades Brook was running, though lightly on flow.
The Cascades were running, but subdued.

Then the winds continued all day and took the warmth away bit by bit with them.

Things are definitely refrozen here.

But back to those winds last night late/this morning early....
They weren't exactly persistent so much as they were dramatic.

You could hear them coming a ways off.
They got louder and louder as they approached.
You could hear the trees take the force.
You could feel the Lodge take the force, and feel a stirring of a draft in the old section of the Lodge ever so gently inside.
The sound was real loud for a bit, and then it would pass, as if it were a single event, and all was still again.

This happened a few times that I was awake for.

It also took the covering straight off of the tipi.

Not just ripping out grommets, or pulling away from metal spikes in the ground,
but pulling the very pole (think some 14' and heavy) anchoring the covering up and away from the tipi itself!
You need to know that the tipi was set up with an eastward door opening (wind comes down the hill/cliff from the west typically), has an air space around the bottom to reduce stress on the covering, and possesses an overall inclination to the prevailing wind direction to help it fair better in high plains winds, yet the covering was nearly stripped away.

In defense of the Sioux model, we hadn't hunkered it down and tied off every possible support as we clearly would have were we staying in it as a shelter.

Nevertheless, that was some wind that went through,
and weird in the way that it did.

Weather Conditions as of 9:03 a.m.:
41.4 degrees F and rising;
53% humidity and falling;
29.94" of mercury and rising.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dripping

It's warmer than it has been for a few days (up over freezing), so the eaves here at the Lodge are dripping. Already yesterday the stream was rising (up to 5.6 last night); a bit more of this and the Cascades will be roaring again.

At 9 am, it is 34 degrees and steady
95% humidity and steady (I suspect that's as much sublimation as anything; it isn't currently raining)
Barometer is falling, currently at 30.18 inches
We've got both a "wet" and a "freeze" warning up
Fire danger continues at NONE

We'll give you a new stream total once we've got one.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Official Numbers:

National Weather Service says that we got 8" of snow yesterday.
  • This is a new record for the day, which was previously 6" in 1954.

This also brings the monthly total up to 24" of snow!
  • Another interesting note is that there had been no measurable snow at all this fall until December, so that 24" is all we have for the season as well as the month.
  • Finally, the normal snowfall for the month at this point would be 7.4".

Also, last Saturday we set a record as well.
On Saturday the 20th we received 11.6" of snow!
  • The previous record was 10" in 1945.

In between these two storms we had two days that each has 2.2" of new snow, which gets you to our number of 24"!
And not a flake of it fell before the 20th of December!


(Finally, the wind gusts are beginning to kick in!)

Snow, postlude

9:08 a.m. here at the Lodge.

Presently it is clear, blue skies, breezy, with occasional strong gusts.

The temperature is 15.8 degrees F and rising,
The barometric pressure is 29.53" of Hg and rising,
The humidity is 56% and steady,
The USFS Forest Danger Class is NONE.

Depths are a trick for us here.

We haven't been scientific enough.

You see, to do this right, we ought to go out every hour and measure a spot, clear it off and repeat.
By measuring total accumulated depth you don't get what actually fell,
you get total overall depth.

Snow compacts, particularly the light fluffy snow we presently have received.
Snow sublimates. Remember high school chemistry where a solid goes to a gas, well snow does that.
Snow drifts, and we have had plenty of wind for that.

Near the roofline of the lodge we have amazing depths well over a foot, and yet out in the glen in front, you can get some fairly shallow readings.

As a result I will go over to the National Weather Service and get the official tally from the airport later.

- - - - - - -

Now, as to all of this amazing snow!!!
Enjoy it please!

You see we have been having fewer days a year with snow cover, more high temperature winter days, and the trend lines show no reason to believe that this trend will halt or reverse.

This is an amazing set of snow events leaving us the sort of snow generally associated with New England.
Bundle up the kids and throw them out into a drift!
Grab the winter sports gear and head outside!
Take photos!
Revel in it!
It won't be the last big deep snow you see, but it is time to shift into a savoring of the moments with deep snows.

(For the troglodytes out there who are convinced there is no climate change....
Well, ignore the decline of the world's glaciers, the breakup of the Antarctic ice shelves, the melting under the Greenland ice sheet, and the whole of modern recorded weather history trend lines (widely available, reported, and verifiable) and buy yourself a beautiful and pricey place out on the coast line. I'll be voting to end FEMA Flood Insurance for you.)

- - - - - - -

SNOW!!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The numbers

At 11:30, we've got 5.2 inches of water in the brook, which is flowing merrily between snowy banks.

We're estimating that we've got 8 1/2 inches of snow out there, but it's already drifting. We're measuring as much as 10 inches in places.

Also, it's snowing in several directions: it's not nice out there.

Winter Solstice!

(We don't usually drag the family into here, but we should probably note that we're fighting pneumonia and bronchitis here at the Lodge, so we'll keep posting, but the outdoor stuff is coming a bit harder than usual.)

The shortest day of the year today!

Yes, it is snowing again! The devoted junkos are out there, digging through the snow for any remaining seed. Due to the depth of the snow, this now involves them disappearing entirely like minature miners. They even work together: one goes in, digs for awhile, finds something and hops out, and another one takes his place.

At 10:30 it is 16 degrees and steady.
89% humidity and steady, with very steady snowfall
Fire danger is NONE
Barometer stands at 29.68 inches and falling
The National Weather Service has a winter storm warning in effect:
...WINTER STORM WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM EST THIS
AFTERNOON...

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW IS NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM
EST THIS AFTERNOON. THIS WARNING COVERS WESTERN AND CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS
AND SOUTHWEST NEW HAMPSHIRE.

STORM TOTALS OF 5 TO 10 INCHES ARE EXPECTED BY THIS EVENING.
Once we venture out to dig out our Sunday paper, we'll give you a snow total.



Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Log 7 p.m.

Deepest confirmed measurements of 8" out in the glen in front of the Lodge.

The Snow that never ends!

So, if you have been watching the radar map, and on and off we have, there is this blob of cloud cover and precipitation just sitting over Massachusetts all the way out to upstate New York that just doesn't move.

Typically when you see something over that section of New York it is some 3 to 4 hours away from being your future, but time stands still along with the storm and the snow keeps falling.

We also decided that, while up to a week ago the blog image was dead on, right now we are unambiguously in the winter (even if it is shy of the solstice by a day.)

More snow is predicted for tomorrow, starting at 8 a.m. and dropping some 6 - 10" more of the white stuff!

That makes this optimal for snowshoes, cross country skis (poor ski folk had little to work with for much of last winter), and snow mobiles (who also had bum luck last year getting adequate depth.)

Enjoy the winter wonderland, and the arctic air out there that will stay low.

Presently it is 4:16 p.m. and:
15.4 degrees F and steady;
81% humidity and steady;
30.03" of Hg and steady.

We are hunkered down by the fieldstone fireplace and until we know that the mail is here we aren't heading out to measure the present depth.

Stay tuned!

Snowshoes

Well, we just sent the Caretaker at the Lodge out on snowshoes to get the paper, as it is easily the best way of getting down to the road this morning. Great weather for snowshoes! Quite beautiful out, especially if you don't have to go anywhere. We're guessing about six inches here.

At 9:30 am, it is 12 degrees and steady, but feels colder as it is windy
92% humidity and steady, still snowing
Barometer stands at 30.03 inches and steady
Fire danger is LOW
The Cascades are snow covered this morning.
The brook is 5 inches deep

We haven't seen any squirrels this morning, but the junkos are again busy.

UPDATE: The entire trail from Olean to Cataract is now packed for snowshoes. The parking area is closed as it is covered with snow.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tipi in the snowstorm

Tipi in the snow storm.

Sure Enough.... Snow

Well it sure is and has been falling fast and furious from about 2ish, maybe a little before.

This morning the conditions at 9 a.m. were:
25 degrees F and steady,
85% humidity and falling,
30.15" of mercury and steady,
0.00" on the rain gauge,
5.2" in the Cascades Brook.

There were a pair of cardinals visiting us this morning.

This afternoon it was attack of the junkos as they were tanking up in the early storm before hiding out.

Presently it is 5:22 p.m. and:
22.8 degrees F and steady,
91% humidity and steady,
29.85" of mercury and falling,
and 3 1/2 inches of snow on the ground so far!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More Snow!

There is another 7 to 13 inches of snow predicted over the period of Friday afternoon and night!
That is a real snow storm!
The first snow storm of the year.

Welcome news for folks with power, telephone, and heat,
yet not so welcome news for those still struggling.

This morning's conditions were:
31 degrees F and steady;
95% humidity and steady;
30.21 inches of mercury and steady;
0.00" of precipitation;
USFS fire danger class was low.

Presently it is 8:45 p.m. and:
25.5 degrees F and steady;
91% humidity and steady (amazing how much humidity is present just with snow and ice on the ground!);
30.15" of mercury and steady;
0.04" of precipitation registered (melting of the snow and ice built up on the rain gauge.)

If you were wondering where yesterday's post was.... well....
We lost phone service for the day here at the Lodge.
Why?
Who knows.
It's back.
Why?
Still no clue.
But we are happy to have it back.

Yesterday the conditions at 9:34 a.m. were:
28 degrees F and steady;
92% humidity and steady;
29.92" of mercury and falling;
no registering precipitation (what there was was frozen);
stream depth of 6.2".

And then there is another fox in the hood!
Conscripted Wildlife Ranger and Cooks Pond Statistician Melican spotted the critter in the back yard, and noted that this was a different fox than the previously reported one. His speculation was that there may be a pair and a den nearby. That could possibly spell more foxes this spring!
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Waiting for snow!

That's right....
1 - 3" tonight before it changes over to sleet tomorrow morning according to the NWS.

Not great news for the folks still without power, or the crews trying to restore it.

Yesterday a fair amount of brawn was exercised to get the Cascades Trail head from Olean to Cataract Street clear. This short section alone took a fair amount of labor!

Presently the Cascades Brook is running at 6.6", and
the Cascades are running!

The present weather conditions as of 9 a.m. are:
Overcast, with a light breeze,
It is 35.6 degrees F and steady,
The barometric pressure is 30.36" and rising (Wow! that is high and rising with a storm front moving in!),
There is a 64% humidity and steady,
The USFS Fire danger class is low,
This morning we received 0.04" of rain,
and last night we received 0.04" of rain.

Things are busy weather-wise.

- - - - - - - -

We also learned something fairly important yesterday about the behavior of Cook's Pond.

The drain pipe is low in the pond,
so in extended periods without precipitation it goes down very low.
The drain pipe is also very small,
so when there is a good sized storm the pond fills up quickly and quite full.

What this means.... is that the ice on the pond can be a shell over a void,
IF the pond surface froze when the pond was full
AND there has been little flow in the brooks.

This is worthy of note for ice fishermen and ice skaters alike.
Do a test hole, and don't just look for thickness, but also voids to the water level in determining safety.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Keep those bugs at home

A reminder:
Worcester remains under USDA quarantine.

Wood and wood products CANNOT BE MOVED from the quarantine zone.

If your brother-in-law from Paxton with a chainsaw wants to come down to Burncoat Street and help you clear your yard, that's great. HE CAN'T TAKE THE WOOD HOME, however!

We really don't need to spread the beetle further. And we haven't yet had a hard enough, long enough frost to be sure they're all dead for the year.

Be smart, people!

Photos of the storm

Here's a few photos from Cascading Waters from the storm:

Here's our view out the front door of the Lodge.

Cataract Street at the Cascades Bridge


Here's the Cascades Brook at the Cataract Street bridge.

The Cascades are never as impressive on camera, but here they are during the storm. Note the trees.

Cascading Waters section is open

Okay, so getting all the way through is going to be the work of more than one day, but we do now have the Cascades Trail open through Cascading Waters, Olean to Cataract. We're talking to the city about the Cascades (we can't leave the trees draped like that, if only for the sake of the bridge).

Stream is back to 7 inches today; that's a whole lot of ice melting up on the hill!

First Trail Report

Ok folks,

Our intrepid regular hiker Margot hit the trails this Saturday:

Her view on the trail conditions isn't very good (unless you like wild bushwacking!).


Have you tried to hike any of the trails? What a mess! Is your house OK? I started at the turnaround (N. Olean St. at the Jersey barrier near the Holden line) on Saturday afternoon, picked my way along the Holden trail (south), and then up next to the waterfall and along the blue trail to the yellow. The worst area I found was the “unofficial” one that your interns did so much to improve last summer.... There were places I couldn’t even see where the trail was! I have some pictures if you want them; only of the blue and the yellow. Are you recommending that people stay off the trails?


So, Margot went:
South on Holden Trail
West on the Cascades Trail
West on Silver Spring Trail
as a one way shot, and it took too long to do a loop.

Well, I haven't had an official position on the trails, not having seen them myself up close, but Margot's word seems to be stay off unless you are up for a wild adventure.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

WE HAVE POWER!!

Back on at 1:36 pm this afternoon!
With the fireplace still roaring, the living room quickly got up over 80! We're pulling that back.
The kitchen was the temperature of a refrigerator (which in some ways is very handy: "Sure, just leave that milk out on the counter!"), and now is a more livable 65 degrees again.
I'll be honest and tell you that over the past 60 hours we've been paying more attention to the temperature inside than outside, but as of 4 pm:
The outside temperature is 36 degrees and steady(we're still getting a frost warning on that)
Humidity is 75% and rising
Barometer is a nice clear 30.33 inches of mercury
Fire danger is LOW
As of this afternoon, the brook was back down to 4 inches. We put a lot of water through there this weekend!
The Cascades Trail from Olean to Cataract is passable. And we've had hikers in since yesterday. Beyond that, we haven't ventured. If you have, and have any tree information to report, please do! And please do keep half an eye up, as there are branches hanging in trees.
In fact, send a report to gwlt@gwlt.org if you know of any trails that are impassible on GWLT lands. We won't get to them all right away, but we would like to know.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

ICE STORM Cont'd

Well, the Cascades Brook is back down to a more reasonable 7.6" as of 9 a.m. this morning.
The falls are still running prettily.
The trail is getting some surprising amount of use!

The trail conditions are tricky but not as dangerous as before.
Know this: The higher in elevation you go in the park, the colder it remains, and the more tree limb ice remains. Be fore warned!

Cataract Street appears to be passable again.
Olean Street continues to be passable.

As for the Lodge....
The old 1948 feildstone fireplace has been working up a storm for the past 36+ hours keeping thisngs warm. Even the fieldstones themselves are throwing heat at this point.
Water is still running, drainpipes not yet frozen, electricity still definitely OFF.

Hope this post (remotely) finds you well!

Lodge Out.

Friday, December 12, 2008

ICE is here...

Definitely,

Lots of ice!

In fact it was really hard to sleep as the sharp crack, pop, bang of trees and tree limbs snapped and fell all night long.

Power was already out by 12:00 am.
Still out when I left the Lodge at 9:00 a.m.

Lots of branches, trees, and ice chunks from branches down.
The White pine out front on the Cascades Trail is not so happy this morning.
The smell of the fresh pine pitch is wonderful, and I think we will have boughs for garland.
The ground is clear and largely just very very wet.

So here is where the weather went nuts.....
It was supposed to have warmed as it rained overnight.
It didn't.

Each time I was up wandering and looking around in the oil lamp and candle lit Lodge the temp. registered as just over 32 degrees by fractions, but never more than that, allowing the ice to build and build, while the rain made every square centimeter of branch heavier and heavier, CRACK!

It is beautiful out there, though the warming is shifting the ice load and trees are still going as well as limbs. Not a great time to go for a hike unless you relish imminent danger. The trailhead and parking area are clear, but there are no promises on the trail itself other than downed limbs aplenty. Wind was supposedly in the forecast for later this morning.....

DON'T TRY CATARACT STREET!
It is impassible!
Power lines down on the street.
Trees down across the street.

The Cascades themselves are ROARING!
Continuous ribbons of white frothy flow.

The Cascades Brook is the highest we have had since Jason the Hydrological Ranger installed the stream gauge, a full 1 foot, 2" and surging up and down by 0.4" by the second.
The second channel is in full flow, there is back water pooling on portions of the brook, and there are standing pools of water by the parking area.

As of just shy of 9 a.m. the readings were:

Barometric Pressure is 29.21" and falling;
Temperature is 33.1 degrees F and steady;
Humidity of 98% and steady;
Rain yesterday was 0.71" (and that was basically last night before midnight);
Rain from midnight until roughly 9 a.m. was 1.34";
For a total rainfall of 2.05" (which is a heck of a storm! by itself)

Pictures will follow as power is restored to the Lodge.

Enjoy!
Storms like this come but once a decade!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ice is coming

For those of you who turned on WCCA and did not see us this morning: sorry! I got my times mixed up. You can see the "Snow Ghost Community Show":
Fridays at 8.30pm,
Saturdays at 11.30pm,
Sundays at 9.30pm,
Monday mornings at 9.30am
(thanks for the correction, Mike!)

The National Weather Service is warning that we're in for a doozy of a day:
.COLD HIGH PRESSURE WITH ITS RESERVOIR OF SUBFREEZING TEMPERATURES
IS BECOMING ENTRENCHED FROM NEW YORK STATE TO NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND
AND SOUTHEAST CANADA TODAY. LOW PRESSURE MOVING TOWARD NEW ENGLAND
FROM ALABAMA WILL CONSTANTLY DRAW UPON THAT POOL OF COLD AIR TO OUR
NORTH WHILE HEAVY PRECIPITATION FLOWS NORTHWARD WITH THE MOISTURE
LADEN LOW PRESSURE CENTER. THIS WILL RESULT IN A MAJOR ICE STORM FOR
PORTIONS OF INTERIOR SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND. THE LOW PRESSURE GALE
CENTER WILL MOVE ACROSS EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS FRIDAY MORNING AND
DEPART FOR THE MARITIMES IN THE AFTERNOON.

So far, all we're getting is rain, and the barometer is staying high.
As they've also said to watch, in particular, northeast facing slopes,
we're keeping an eye out: that would be the Cascades.


At 9am, it is 33 degrees and steady. It's been just 33 for a number of hours now.
98% humidity and raining
So far today we've had 0.04 inches of rain. Our total for yesterday was 0.75 inches.
The stream is up to 6.4 inches and rising, no doubt!
Barometer is 30.03 inches of mercury and steady
Fire danger remains NONE

Traffic on the trail this morning is non-existent, but we did have a visit from
the DPW up on Cataract Street. Looks like they're keeping an eye on the bridges
and culverts today. The Cascades are running!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hang onto your hat! UPDATED WITH LINK

Did you hear the wind last night? Clearly all the trees that were going to fall down at Cascading Waters already have, as we didn't lose any new ones last night. It's quite a wind! We're only sorry that we don't have a gauge for measuring it.

At 9am, it is 57 degrees and rising; it's quite pleasant, actually.
96% humidity and steady
29.88 inches of mercury and falling; the radar map shows quite a bit of this storm is still coming.
We have had 0.08 inches of rain since last night; before midnight, we had 0.04 inches.
Stream is already up to 5.8 inches
Fire danger is NONE


We are very excited that we have finally gotten our new DPW trash basket! Out on the telephone phone on Olean Street is a brand-shiny-new DPW pole basket. We've agreed to empty it. We are hoping that this cuts down on the amount of detritus left in the parking area.

We had a great time with Bruce and Mike as they recorded a bit about Cascading Waters, as well as something about a mission trip to Poland. You can watch it tomorrow morning at 8:30 on WCCA. Thanks for coming by!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Moving forward

We've got some workers in the street this morning, digging up the road. Looks like work on the development next door is moving forward.

At 9 am, it is 22 degrees and rising
61% humidity and steady
Barometer stands at 30.36 inches under cloudy skies with an occasional flake of snow
National Weather Service says we'll have a bit of snow through 10 am
Stream is 4.4 inches deep
Fire danger is NONE

We've got "Snow Ghost" coming in early this afternoon to record a broadcast; we'll give you info on that when we have it!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Odd bird

Okay, so now I've got a nuthatch who seems to be trying to get in the house?

He landed on the kitchen windowsill, tapped at the kitchen window, flew off to a tree, flew to the entry window, tapped at that, flew back to a tree.

What is he up to?

Brutally cold

It's what we would call "brutal" out there this morning. It's been very slow on the trail; even our faithful dog walkers seem to be taking a pass today.

At 9 am, it is 17 degrees and rising, with the sun high in the sky
46% humidity and falling (that's really dry)
Barometer stands at 30.12 inches and rising
Fire danger is down to NONE
(sorry, I didn't check the stream this morning!)

Overnight, the Cascades froze. There is, as there almost always is, water trickling under the ice, but it's a sheet of ice. We lucked out that it was flowing when the freeze came; it's very pretty!

The snow over the weekend was so little as to be immeasurable as precipitation.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

That white stuff

We officially got a dusting this morning, enough to reveal that our morning visitors, hazily seen in the dark of 6 am this morning, were rabbits. The footprints are out there!
We just had two hikers come through to check out the falls in the snow. They are still running and they are lovely.
The barometer is still falling here--it's at 29.53 now--so it may not be quite over yet, 'though at the moment we aren't getting any new accumulation.

At 8am, the stream stands at 4.8 inches.
Temperature is 29 degrees and steady
Humidity is at 88% and steady
Fire danger is LOW
The National Weather Service says that we could have high winds coming in this afternoon. Strap down those Christmas decorations, and bundle up if you're heading out to admire the snow!

Friday, December 05, 2008

More wildlife

A late return home last night was greeted by four whitetail deer down by the brook next to the street. By the time we made it to the door, they'd come up the trail and were in the meadowy portion by the yard. Big ones!

At 9am, it is 34 degrees and rising
56% humidity and falling
Barometer stands at30.09 and steady
Stream stands at 5.2 inches
Fire danger is back down to LOW

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Clear day and a wildlife report

At 9 am, we've got a good breeze.
It's continuing unseasonably warm, at 41 degrees and rising
65% humidity and falling
Barometer stands at 29.91 and falling (rain's coming!)
No rain today
Fire danger is UP to MEDIUM
Stream is down to 5.4 inches

It's a nice day out there, if you get out before the rain comes in.

We got a report this morning of a fox in the neighborhood: "This feller seemed to be larger than the few I've seen around here since I was a kid, if I had to guess closer to the 20lb range. Looked real healthy, great coat. Had the back light on and was just wandering around the yard till it heard me and took off towards stark rd. "Very cool! We know they're around, but they aren't often seen. Thanks for sending it in!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Another nice one

Still not looking like December out there...be sure to get outside while it lasts! The falls, while down, are still running, too, so use that as an excuse!

At 9 am, it is 35 degrees and rising
80% humidity and steady
Pressure is 30.15 inches and steady under high clear skies
Stream stands at 5.6 inches
Fire danger is LOW

And, not to blow our own horn or anything, but the City Manager had some nice things to say about us at last night's City Council meeting.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

When the trails turn into streams

We took a lengthy hike this morning: up the Cascades Trail next to the waterfall (which is still running fast and furious; if you haven't been by, you should!), around to the Silver Spring Trail to its end, by road to West Tatnuck School, bushwacked to the West Tatnuck spur trail, down that to Cascades, and down the Newton Trail. (That's blue circles to yellow triangles, to the road, to yellow circles, to blue circles, to red circles, for those of you who go by blazes.)

The most notable thing is how very wet it is. The ground really is saturated, and there's lots of water just sitting on the ground out there. If you're planning on taking the Silver Spring Trail in particular, wear waterproof footwear, because you are going to get your feet wet. Parts of it have become the brook that it turns into in the spring, and there's plenty of water just sitting there, too. In places it's difficult to tell that there's water due to leaf coverage.

If you have never been on the Silver Spring, or haven't lately, let me recommend it. I hadn't been up there in awhile, and with all the brooks running, it's really lovely. There's a number of benches out there to sit and contemplate it all; a nice antidote to running around.

It looks like a tree took out a picnic bench up at the picnic grove at Boyton Park; I'll send that into the Parks Department and see if we can get anywhere on it.
For those who have despaired of ever again seeing that huge sign that belongs in Boyton Park, we're on it! We're getting there! We've had the great problem of having to update it to include more preserved land just about every time we thought we had it done. As there's nothing in the works in that regard, we'll see about getting it back out there.

It's beginning to look a lot like...

...what? March, maybe?

At 9am, it's 39 degrees and rising
61% humidity and falling
Fire danger is LOW
Barometer is at 29.88 inches and rising under clear skies
We've had no rain in the last 24 hours
The stream stands at 6.2 inches (and it's falling)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Cascades are gushing!

The stream has reopened the secondary channel with all the rain we've been having. As of this morning, the stream stands at 7.8 inches.
Today so far we have had 0.12 inches of rain.
That follows 0.51 inches on Sunday and no rain on Saturday.

At 9 am, it is 39 degrees Fahrenheit and rising
98% humidity and steady
Barometer stands at 29.44 inches and steady
Skies are overcast with some drifting fog.

It's rained enough that the ground is fairly well saturated. Keep to the trail (this is just the sort of weather that the edges of trails get torn up in, as people dodge puddles), and keep your bikes at home today, please.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

all that rain

By 4pm yesterday, we had a stream running at 8 inches!
In total, yesterday we received 1.54 inches of rain.

We didn't get to it at 9 am this morning, but we can tell you that it is currently 39 degrees and steady
69% humidity and steady
Barometer stands at 29.85 and steady
As expected, the fire danger is down to LOW today

We've seen a lot of dogs today.
The Cascades are running beautifully!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And still going.....

11:30 a.m.
The Cascades Brook is up to 8.6"

The ground is totally saturated so all new rainfall runs off.
All the previous rainfall from this morning has been making its way to the bottom of the Cascades Brook watershed.

All this with the rain gauge reading 1.3" at of 11:30 a.m.

still going...

Stream is up to 7 inches and the rain is 1.10 inches.
Glad the DPW came by yesterday to check the culverts!

The water keeps coming: UPDATE

The rain keeps coming the and the stream keeps rising!

At 9:40, the stream is up to 6.8 inches.
And we've now gotten 1.02 inches of rainfall here.

Remember, there's 400 plus acres of woodland that drain down the Cascades. The stream should be continuing to rise throughout the day.

We didn't mention earlier, and should, that the Cascades are rushing!

Raining like the dickens

It started last night after midnight, and so far today we've had 0.98 inches! That's brought the brook up to 6 inches already this morning. We'll be posting periodic updates of both of those numbers throughout the day.

At 9 am, it is 45 degrees and steady (which feels downright balmy!)
98% humidity, and, yes, rainy!
Barometer is at 29.71 inches and falling
Fire danger is down to MEDIUM: we assume that will be falling steadily today.

It's WET!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fire danger ALERT!!

Fire danger is up to HIGH!!
This is the first time since we've been keeping track here that we've seen it go this high.
If we get the rain forecasted for later in the week, we should have no problems, but, in the meantime, be cautious with fire outside, huh?

At 9am, it is 27 degrees and rising
59% humidity and steady
Barometer stands at 30.24 inches and steady

The brook is at 4.8 inches, with ice around the edges.

The Cascades are starting to freeze.

USFS Fire danger is HIGH

1st. Folks, keep the fires, smoking, and playing with flint and steel to a minimum as the USFS Fire Danger Class is HIGH.

2nd. What is up with the class system???? We went from low, to Medium, to none?, to HIGH? Was someone down in the fire danger lab hitting the sauce? Did the supercomputer decide to rest? Well, however it is that we got there, we are there now.

Enjoy the sun and warm!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

More Cold.

As of 9am this morning it was:

27 degrees F and rising;
47% humidity and falling;
30.21" of mercury and steady;
the USFS Fire Danger Class was none.

More ice is forming on the stream edges and the Cascades with even more likely soon.

A brief reprise on the weather which will now turn to rain Tuesday at 1am.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Enjoy the cold and claer weather!

The weather is cold and clear.
As of Monday it won't be again until next weekend.
Enjoy it while you can.

As of the 9am status check conditions are as follows:
Barometric Pressure 30.00";
Temperature 24.1 degrees F and rising;
Humidity 52% and steady;
No new rainfall; and,
The USFS Fire Danger Class is Moderate.

The Cascades Brook measures 4.8" today, and ice is forming in spots and on portions of the Cascades.

We have had any number of fast moving and bundled up hikers today.

Presently at 5:10 pm it is:
Barometric Pressure 30.09" and steady;
21.2 degrees F and steady;
Humidity 44% and steady.

Look for more ice on Sunday morning as it is supposed to get down to 16 degrees tonight.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Birds are back

We saw our first juncoes back this morning: they're the gray groundfeeders you'll often find at the foot of a birdfeeder. They travel together. I don't know where they go in the summer; we only see them in the winter.

At 9 am, it is 29 degrees and rising.
55% humidity and falling
Barometer stands at 29.85 inches and steady
Fire danger is NONE with no rain for some time
Stream stands at 4.8 inches, which is down a bit from earlier in the week.

Hydrological intern Jason was out in the chilly stream this morning, measuring flow rates!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Brr....

In case you somehow missed it, it's COLD out there!
While the falls are running, we're getting some icicles along the top, and ice is gathering along the rocks here and there in the stream. We rescued a soccer ball this morning that was on its way to spending the winter frozen in.
At 10 am, it is 27 degrees and steady.
The barometer stands at 29.88 inches of mercury and steady under sunny skies
Humidity is 45% and steady
We've got a good wind going here.
The stream is 5.2 inches deep

A hike this morning up the Newton Trail and down the east end of the Cascades Trail showed some improvements by the Parks Department at the Newton Trailhead. The trails been blocked off a bit so only those on feet (and two, unmotorized wheels) can make it up the trail, plus there's a shiny new "no motorized vehicles" sign, adding to the discouragement. Nice work! No signs that it's been disturbed.
It's a tricky time of year up there. With the ground covered in (mostly oak) leaves, and everything brown, following the trail isn't the mindless activity it is the rest of the year. You need to watch for the trail markers a bit. The wind has been dramatic enough to blow nearly all of the oak leaves down (usually about half hang on for spring). Those leaves on top of frozen ground makes for slippery footing; watch it as you come down the hill!
Do get out there, though. You get a very different perspective this time of year!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Falling in the brook day

One of the junior rangers just fell in the brook in the midst of checking the stream depth. We go to all lengths around here...!

at 9: 10 am, it is 41 degrees and steady with a breeze
57% humidity and falling
29.85 inches of mercury and steady under clear skies
the brook, we have confirmed, is at 5 1/2 inches

We are continuing our battle with the squirrels over the birdfeeder in the front of the Lodge. They've now chewed through the rope not once, but twice, and now there is nothing but wire holding it up; we'll see how long that works! We've seen nuthatches and chickadees, plus, this morning, a small brown friendly little bird about the size of a chickadee that sat in a tree and talked to us for awhile. We'll look it up!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Windy Day at the Lodge

Last night there was what sounded like a distant crack in the gale of wind that caught your attention even fully asleep. That was eclipsed by the great thud of a massive tree impacting the earth. It sounded uphill towards the falls, but this morning I can not see anything clearly evident. I may need to poke around some.

What we do know is that a red maple went down next to the bottom of the driveway. Mostly just canopy branching across the cart path, so it wasn't too terrible to clear out of the way.

Presently we are experiencing the strong gusting winds predicted by the NWS. Impressive gusts for sure!

I am not sure if it is a mater of the wind but the USFS is listing here as having a low fire danger class. Pretty wild to have any danger when you think of all of the recent rains we have had.

As of 4:30 pm the stream is 6.2",
The barometer is 29.50" Hg and rising,
The temperature is 41.7 degrees F and steady,
The humidity is 55% and steady, and
The rain gauge reads 0.08" for today and 0.35" for yesterday (which goes a long way to explaining the stream rise.)

Yesterday GWLT Hydrological Intern Jason was by to do more monitoring of the Cascades Brook with his faithful assistant.

Looks to be clear and breezy weather for this week!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rainy day

Stream is rising!
We've had 0.08 inches of rain since midnight. That's brought the stream level up to 5.2 inches.

At 9 am, it is 49 degrees and rising
98% humidity and raining
Barometer stands at 29.88 inches and steady

The Cascades are running, and the culverts were checked up the DPW this morning!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rain coming in

At 9 am, it is a chilly 38 degrees and rising
75% humidity and falling
30.18 inches of mercury and steady
No rain so far today
The stream stands at 4.8 inches
Fire danger remains LOW

There's a front moving in, so we expect all of the above to change. If we get significant rain, look for the falls!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

High skies

Lovely day out there! We just had some rather lost hikers wander through our clothesline looking to get back to Cataract Street.

At 9 am, it is 41 degrees and rising
58% humidity and falling
The fire danger (consequently) is up to LOW
The stream stands at 4.2 inches
And the barometer is a lovely 30.27 inches and steady

Enjoy it while we've got it! The paper today was forecasting a sudden onset to winter!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A quiet Veterans' Day

Not much going through here this morning...the birdfeeder is busy, though!

At 9 am, it is 42 degrees and rising
57% humidity and falling with a bit of a breeze
Barometer stands at 30.06 inches of mercury and steady
Sunny skies
The stream is 5.2 inches deep
Fire danger is NONE

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's a bright, bright, bright...

At 9 am, it is 48 degrees and rising
Clear, sunny skies
67% humidity and falling
29.80 inches of mercury and steady
The stream stands at 5.2 inches this morning
The fire danger is NONE

A bit slow on the trail this morning...

If you're looking for something to do with your kids tomorrow on Veterans' Day, remember: there's 400 acres of woods out here!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Stream Gauge Reading

The Stream gauge read 5.6" in the brook this morning for those of you tracking.
The USFS Fire Danger Class is: Nonextant!
We have had a fair flow of hikers here today at both ends of the day.
The weather was unseasonably pleasant with a rare mix of clear AND warm.

Presently it is 4:58 p.m. and the conditions are:
49.6 degrees F and falling;
67% humidity and rising;
Barometric Pressure is 29.68" of mercury and steady;
Rainfall is nothing for today, and 0.04" yesterday.

We have once again had a problem with someone dumping on the Olean Street entrance to the Cascading Waters parcel. This time it was a blue trash can half full of leaves. Last time it was an empty 5 gal. container of driveway sealant. Very not cool.

As of Thursday we noted that Cook's Pond was decidedly lower than usual. After a few calls we were able to determine that this is apparently the annual draw down to control the shoreline weeds by freezing the soils. This was cleared through the Worcester Conservation Commission for the more bureaucratically minded among you.

And that is all from here at the Lodge!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Cascades are in full flow!

If you haven't seen the Cascades running, today is a good chance! Yesterday we got 0.55 inches of rain, which has led to an increase of stream depth to 6 1/2 inches.

At 9:05 am, it is 57 degrees and steady
98% humidity, 'though we've had no rain since midnight
Barometer is at 28.88 inches
Fire danger is NONE

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Stream is rising!

Thanks to the wonder of our new stream gauge, we can tell you that the stream is up 1/2 inch from yesterday, to 5 inches today!

At 9 am, it is 56 degrees
98% humidity and raining
Barometer is at 30 inches of mercury and steady
So far, we've gotten 0.08 inches of rain
Fire danger is LOW

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Busy birdfeeder

Sure enough, the squirrels were out there investigating this morning.
This one found the pot of frost-struck pansies.

They can't quite reach the birdfeeder...So far, business seems to be mostly nuthatches.

At 9 am, it is 54 degrees and rising
39% humidity and steady
Barometer at 30.21 inches and steady, but overcast
The stream level is at 4 1/2 inches deep
We've had no rain, 'though there appears to be a storm moving up the coast.
Fire danger is LOW

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Stream gauge is in! UPDATED with photo

For those of you paying close attention to the stream down by Olean Street, you'll notice a new addition. Attached to a tree, we now have a stream level gauge. We may not post it every day, but we will be adding a stream level reading here. GWLT has an intern from Clark University who has taken this on as a project, and he and some others will be coming in to measure flow rates, etc. Anything interesting, we'll post!

Taken from the north side of the stream. The gauge is on the south bank.

ELECTION DAY! UPDATED!

...and it's sunny! That NEVER happens!

Late posting this morning, as we were out holding signs for other (school funding) aspects of our lives.

At 9:50 am, it is 55 degrees and rising
80% humidity and falling
The barometer stands at 30.33 and steady under clear, sunny skies.
The fire danger is LOW

Beautiful day for a hike! Just be sure you vote first!

UPDATE: Look what was here waiting for us when we got back from the polls midmorning:
Redtailed hawk. We're hoping he isn't staking out the birdfeeder.
And speaking of which, around noon today, we saw a cardinal pair at the birdfeeder.

Monday, November 03, 2008

overcast

There's no rain closer than North Carolina, but you wouldn't know it from looking at the sky today.

At 9 am, it is 38 degrees and rising.
78% humidity and falling
Barometer stands at 30.42 inches and steady
Fire danger is LOW

'Though the thermometer was well down in the twenties last night, the brook shows no signs of icing. Yet.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Setting out the birdfeeder

As the migrating birds have migrated by now (those that are still migrating; we've got a family of Canada geese on Cook's Pond that find life here in Worcester too plush to leave!) and the bears should be slowing down, we've now put out our birdfeeder. We usually get a good number of chickadees, nuthatches, and sparrows, but we'll let you know if we see anything special.

At 9 am, it is 33 degrees and rising
80% humidity and steady
30.06 inches of mercury and rising
Nice clear day
The fire danger stands at LOW

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

SNOW!

(no, not here! But did anyone else see the cars coming down Pleasant Street this morning with a dusting on their windshields? It looks like Paxton had some of that precipitation as snow yesterday!)

At 9am, it is a chilly 37 degrees and (here's the real kicker) steady
69% humidity and falling as the wind is drying it all out
Barometer stands at 29.47 inches of mercury and rising as the storm leaves
Fire danger is back down to NONE
The brook is rushing among the leaves this morning.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rainy day

As of 9 am today, we had already had 0.08 inches of rain. This will keep the falls going!

It is 46 degrees and steady.
96% humidity, steady, and raining
Barometer stands at 29.44 inches of mercury and falling

Fire danger is down to LOW

Noon UPDATE:
We just had two determined cross country runners go through!
Rainfall is up to 0.16

Monday, October 27, 2008

Week of Halloween

At 9:13, it is 48 degrees and rising
95% humidity and steady
The barometer stands at 29.88 inches and steady

Over the weekend, we had an inch and a half of rain! That not only brought the fire danger back down to NONE, it also means the falls are running. Come see!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Falling leaves

For those of you interested, you can find the US fall foliage map online.

The leaves are really coming down out there today. It's as if it is raining. Still there are plenty of maples that have yet to turn.

At 9am, it is 40 degrees and rising.
71% humidity and falling.
The barometer is 30.39 inches and steady; high skies!
Fire danger is back down to LOW from that rain we had earlier this week.

Great day to get out there! We're seeing some activity on the trail already today.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Frosty

At 9 am, it is 37 degrees and COLD!
Humidity is 79% and steady...all that rain on all those leaves
The barometer stands at 30.53 inches and steady

Last night we got 0.04 inches of rain...just measurable.
Wear a hat!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A raw day

I heard this morning that there was a chance of snow. We appear to have missed that, but, boy, it is not pleasant out there! That does not seem to have slowed down the two bikers who just went through, however.

The rain has not been enough to measure so far
At 9:10, it is 42 degrees and steady
84% humidity
The barometer stands at 29.97 inches of mercury
Fire danger continues at MEDIUM
The Cascades are trickling.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More trees

We put in some blue spruce along the southern bound of Cascading Waters today, mostly to block off the line-of-sight between the Lodge and the new development (slowly) going in next door.

Report from the Junior Ranger:
40 degrees F and rising
86 % humidity and steady
29.83 and steady
At 8:52 am
Cold, brook running a little bit.

And from today:
Down from the sky come leaves in all colors:
Red, yellow, and brown
Some have holes and some do not.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Busy night at Cascading Waters

We were awoken in the middle of the night last night by a constant trilling cry. At first it seemed to be coming down from the waterfall, then it was closer, then in the front of the house. Over and over and over again. Was it an owl? Some animal that was hurt?
We pulled open the shade to look out at the front lawn to find a dark shadow by the benches, not far from the front door. As we pulled open the window, it took off across the lawn towards the trail, clearly (from its shape and movement) a coyote.
Which still left us with some sort of keening noise outside, now rustling through the leaves over to the van, and hiding there.
Entering from the right, around the house, came a BIG raccoon. It rustled through the leaves, over to the driveway, and met up, with many happy snuffling noises, with whatever was under the van.
This was soon revealed, as the big raccoon went back by the front of the house, to be a baby raccoon, following close behind its mom (?).

It had somehow gotten separated from its parent by the coyote, hid under the house, crying all the while, ran for the van when the coyote left, and then the parent tracked it back down.
It's like Mutual of Omaha out here!

We also had our first frost last night!

At 9 am, it is 40 degrees and rising
65% humidity and falling
30.12 inches of mercury and steady
Fire danger is up to MEDIUM

Friday, October 17, 2008

Getting chillier

You'll want a sweater if you head out on the trails this morning. It's refreshing, but surprising!

At 9:05 it is 47 degrees and rising
78% humidity and steady
29.97 inches of mercury and steady
a light wind under sunny skies
Fire danger is LOW across Massachusetts to the Berkshires now.

Yesterday's rain was so little as to not register on our meter; I'm not sure how much rain we have to have for it to count.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Get your hike in now!

Looks like the rain is mostly passing to the north, but just in case...

The leaves are really coming down today in this wind; at the Lodge, it's raining golden leaves right now.

At 9 am, it is 57 degrees and rising
98% humidity and steady
29.85 inches of mercury and steady
Fire danger is LOW

It is windy and cool. The brook is running.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Beautiful fall light

The light here at the Lodge is changing. With so many leaves that are yellow, the light that's coming through is golden.

At 9am, it is 54 degrees and steady
84% humidity and falling
Barometer stands at 30.06 inches under clear skies
The brook is running.

Looks like we'll be having a pack of Cub Scouts coming through for a hike on Saturday morning!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Looking for clues

Okay, neighbors! We need some help (and it doesn't involve sweat or mud this time).

We're doing some work here at the Lodge, and among the projects is opening up the top of the big stone fireplace in the living room (which was the original building, back when it was a summer cabin). It's been covered with wallboard, but we've discovered that it's stone all the way up, and we'd rather look at that. When we ripped off the wallboard this weekend, here's what we found:


Anyone out there got a story on "9-48"? We're assuming it's a date, maybe the date the fireplace was put in (the cabin itself is older), but we're open to interpretations!

The mice are heading in

We came out this morning to find that the mice think that winter are coming, and hope to hibernate inside. One was swimming in our iced tea pitcher!

(We brought him outside, where he cleaned off his paws and headed for what we hope will be winter quarters in the stone wall.)

It was a very busy weekend for hikers! We had cars in and out of the parking lot all day every day (kudos to those who pulled over enough to make space for multiple cars), and we saw lots of people coming through.

At 9 am, it is 53 degrees and rising under cloudy skies
93% humidity and steady
The barometer stands at 30.21 inches and is steady
There is NO fire danger for central Massachusetts

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Rain clearing out

This morning (it all fell after midnight), we had 0.08 inches of rain, which is enough to give everything a good dousing and put the fire danger back over to NONE.
This is also giving the Cascades and the brook a boost!

At 10 am, it is 58 degrees and steady
98% humidity and steady (we'll see; when the sun comes out a bit more that will change)
Barometer stands at 29.83 inches and steady

The clouds are moving out and we're seeing a bit of sun now.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fire danger is UP

According to the U.S. Forestry Service, the fire danger in central Massachusetts is up to MEDIUM. A look at the humidity here this morning will tell you why:

At 10 am, it is 48 degrees and rising.
63% humidity and steady (by 10, it's usually still up in the high eighties at least)
Barometer stands at 30.18 inches.
The skies are clear, and the brook is running.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Chilly mornings

While we haven't had a hard frost here yet, we are getting close to freezing most nights now.

At 9 am, it is 46 degrees and steady
96% humidity and steady ('though the sun has not yet cleared the trees)
30.18 inches of mercury and rising; the skies here are clear
Fire danger is LOW

Cascades are running

Friday, October 03, 2008

More hikers!

We have the WISE group coming this morning with Mass Audubon for a hike in the Cascades. They've got lovely weather for it!

At 9:30 am, it is 52 degrees and rising
79% humidity and falling
Barometer steady at 29.71 inches
Yesterday we had 0.43 inches of rain
Fire danger is LOW
The Cascades are running well

The beech and chesnut trees are just starting to turn. The maples, except for a few more spectacular examples along the road, are here struggling with any color at all: they've turned yellow with brown spots, and are the leaves are curling at the edges. Anyone know what's up with that? Too much rain?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Nice morning for a hike!

And so we had six West Tatnuck students set off from the Newton Trailhead this morning at 8am, and, barring a bit of mud and one wet foot, all made it safely up the hill and across the stream(s), through the poison ivy, to the playground for 8:30. Let's plan on doing that again!

And so we're late with posting today...
at 11 am, it is 57 degrees and rising
73% humidity and falling, due to a brisk wind
Barometer stands at 29.41 inches
Fire danger is LOW
The Cascades are great!

Trail conditions are a bit muddy, but it's largely avoidable (no thanks to ATV's; yes, we're working on that).

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

International Walk to School Month

In honor of International Walk to School month, a group of Olean Street area kids and parents are walking to West Tatnuck tomorrow through Cascades Park.
If you'd like to join us, meet at the Newton Trailhead at 8 am. We'll be following the Newton Trail to the Cascades Trail to the West Tatnuck Trail.
Wear your sneakers!

Rain for October

Sorry for the late post today. Worcester Magazine is running a piece on ALB this week, and a tour of a GWLT parcel for photos was necessary. Yes, in the rain!

At 9 am, it was 59 degrees and steady
98% humidity and steady (and raining)
29.62 inches of mercury and steady
As of 9 am, we'd had 0.12 inches of rain since midnight
Yesterday, we had a total of 0.28 inches.

UPDATE: at noon, we now have had 0.43 inches. That's almost half an inch in twelve hours.

YES, the Cascades are running!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Yes, we are in the quarantine zone

You may not have caught it from today's paper (they buried in on A5!), but the quarantine zone for the Asian Longhorned Beetle has now expanded to include the entire city.

What does that mean?
Wood from the city cannot be moved outside of the quarantine zone (in this case, outside the city).

We haven't found any evidence of the ALB in the Cascades. We have, however, found it in other GWLT properties.

Between the rainstorms!

Cloudy but not raining this morning.
That seems to be enough to have thrown the dogwalkers off their scheduled rounds, though.

At 9 am, it is 59 degrees and steady
98% humidity and steady
29.88 inches of mercury and steady
We have had no rain in the past 24 hours.
Fire danger remains LOW

Monday, September 29, 2008

Rain is moving out, the brook is running

Nice day to see the Cascades in action!
At 9 am, it is 61 degrees and steady.
98% humidity
29.85 inches of mercury and rising
Since midnight, we have had .16 inches of rain. Yesterday, we had 0.04 inches.

Yesterday, the Clark University Outing Club braved the chance of rain to go for a hike. They took the Cascades trail to the Silver Spring Trail to the Meadow Ridge Trail and back around the circle.

Kudos to Clark for getting the students out into Worcester's woods! You can find the rest of their pictures here.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Water's rising

We got a total of 1.89 inches of rain yesterday.
More is expected today
There is a flood warning in effect for central Massachusetts today through tomorrow. Watch those brooks!
The Cascades have picked up and will continue to do so.
At 8:44 am, it is 60 degrees and steady.
98% humidity, though not currently raining.
Barometer is steady at 30.09 inches of mercury
Fire danger is LOW (expect that to go to NONE sometime this weekend).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Then the rain came...

At 9:12 am, it is 56 degrees and steady
98% humidity, and raining hard!
So far we have had 0.24 inches of rain today.
The barometer stands at 30.30 inches of mercury and steady.
The brook is picking up
Fire danger is LOW

Looks like the storm is standing right over us right now. If we get anything like the rain that they are forecasting (so far, we haven't), the Cascades will be spectacular by Sunday!

UPDATE: at 2pm, we now have had 1.10 inches of rain!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Its Cold

48 and steady for a temp. 98 and steady for humidity . 30. 42 and steady .Sky is gray and brook is running slow. Wear a sweater! br

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lots of dogs

Lots of dogs coming through this morning.
And a dog update: you might remember that we've had a dog coming through regularly who's been diagnosed with cancer. He was given six months to live something like a year ago now. He came through yesterday, and we were told that he celebrated his 13th birthday over the weekend with a steak!

At 9 am, it is 49 degrees and rising
98% humidity and steady
Barometer is at 30.36 inches and steady
Fire danger is LOW
Cascades continue at a trickle

We've gone quite a long time without any precipitation, especially unusual at this time of year.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Erosion survey hike

We're late posting today, as we had a hiker come to the door to report continued use of ATV's on the trails in Cascades Park. We dropped everything and went out to investigate. It's clear that the trails off of Cataract Street where it's the Holden Trail have been reopened, plus someone's been coming up the Newton Trail from Cataract Street (by the bike rack and bench).

Two things all park users should know:
  1. This is NOT OKAY. Use of motorized vehicles is prohibited in all city parks by city ordainance, PLUS Cascades Park (and Cascades East) is under a conservation restriction, which means it's against state law as well. And it's just really bad for the forest in all sorts of ways.
  2. If you see anyone on an ATV, DO NOT CONFRONT THEM. However, please get all identifying information you can, and pass it on to us (gwlt@gwlt.org will do it).
In other news, we met at least four dogs on our hike, found wintergreen leaves, and found the upper Cascades brook in good condition.

As of 9:30 this morning, it was 52 degrees and rising.
80% humidity and falling
30.42 inches of mercury and steady
Fire danger is back up to LOW

Monday, September 22, 2008

Flowers in bloom

There's quite a number of flowers in bloom out there now. In addition to the woodland aster (white, look like miniature daisies), there's also blue-stemmed goldenrod (the yellow flowers mentioned last week), bachelor's button (there's some right now by the sign), and late purple aster (which look a lot like their sisters, the woodland asters, only, yes, purple).

You'll find many of these links go to the Brandeis "Wildflowers of New England" site, which is a great place to start a search for a name.

Look what we found


There aren't many, but it's happening...

At 9 am, it is 57 degrees and steady
89% humidity and steady
30.33 inches of mercury and steady

It's overcast, but we've had no measurable rain in the past 24 hours.
CORRECTION: there is NO FIRE DANGER.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Feeling like fall

There's an interesting article this week in the "Science Times" section of the New York Times on Mohonk Mountain House's 112 years of weather observations. It's a very useful set of information to have. We are not there (and we miss a day or so), but perhaps we are of use, too.

There was a mention in the article of Project Budburst, a field campaign tracking when plants come into flower (phenology: the science of natural occurences). You can register to participate at their website; we have!

At 9am, it is 49 degrees and rising.
98% humidity and steady
The barometer is at 30.24 and steady.
Nice clear skies this morning

Woodland report from the junior rangers

A short hike up to the Cascades reveals the following:
30.42 inches of mercury and steady
48 and rising is the temp.
75% humidity and steady.
Today the brook is running very fast. Also many pine needles falling, small pretty yellow flowers in bloom.

We'll try to track down what the yellow flowers are, and post a photo.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

On a clear day

Hope you all like the above photo of our fall plantings around the sign. They're all perennials, so we hope it will be a yearly splash.

At 9am, it is 59 degrees and rising.
Humidity is 81% and falling
Pressure is 30.06 and steady
We've had no rain since Sunday, and the fire danger is LOW

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Last rose of summer?

Morning fog

That morning fog over the pond and other water (we caught it over the Charles River this morning) is great, isn't it?

Heavy dew last night. It's really starting to chill down in the nights.
At 10am, it is 59 degrees and rising.
80% humidity and falling
30.06 inches of mercury and steady.
So far, the only leaves we're seeing are the stray yellow birch here and there.

The Cascades are continuing to run.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Breezy

At 9am, the junior ranger report:
72 degrees and steady is the temperature
80% humidity and falling
29.59 inches of mercury and rising
The birch leaves are yellow and brown.
There's been no rain since midnight.
Yesterday, we had 0.75 inches of rain.
The Cascades are running.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Beeches are turning

We appear to have good healthy maples around here (a mixed blessing; some of them are Norway maples), so they haven't turned yet. Our beeches are starting now, though; they're the bright yellow leaves you'll start to see in the forest. 

At 8:30 am, it is 57 degrees and steady
94% humidity and steady
Barometer is at 30.12 inches and steady
Overcast, but no rain as of yet
Fire danger remains LOW

It's chilly and damp out there and the brook is running.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chilly

At 9 am, it is 53 degrees and heading up
94% humidity and steady (not warm enough to drop yet)
Barometer is steady at 30.00 inches (keeping those high skies)
No rain yesterday or this morning
Fire danger remains LOW
Brook is still running from the rain earlier in the week.

UPDATE: A morning hike on the Holden Trail revealed the damage done by the dirtbike/ATV crew (all were spoken to yesterday; we're assured that's the end of it) this past week. It's of course been wet, which means mud, which is fun if you're on a dirtbike and don't care that the slope will entirely wash away the next time it rains.
We'd did some trail blocking (you won't get through on wheels without work), but we'll need to go back in to do some erosion control. If you want to help, you know how to get in touch! We'll always welcome extra hands.
Also, the leaves are just thinking about changing; you'll find a maple here and there. The ditch is running with water. We also noticed the succession of white pine along the edges of that end of Cataract Street. It doesn't take the pines long to notice that a space isn't being used!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Grab a sweater

The front that came through cleared the air and brought down the temperature. A great day for a walk in the (still green) woods! We've already seen a number of hikers come through today.

The junior rangers make the following report:
At 9:20, it is 57 degrees and holding steady.
83% humidity and falling
Barometer is 30.12 and rising (very high skies today)
We have a slight breeze.
The brook is running.
Yesterday we had 0.67 inches of rain
And the fire danger is LOW

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

More rain coming in

The rain isn't supposed to be here until later on today, but you can feel the front coming in. The wind is picking up.
Barometer is steady (we never seem to catch it changing) at 29.91 inches.
It's 65 degrees and rising
98% humidity and holding steady; the air is full of moisture this morning.
The Cascades are continuing to run today.

NOON UPDATE:
...SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 894 IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM EDT THIS
AFTERNOON...
...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 PM EDT THIS AFTERNOON...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Still running..

Nice clear day with high skies and a running brook
Come check out the Cascades while we have a nice day!
at 8:46 this morning, it was 61 degrees and rising
86% humidity and falling
Barometer high at 30.03 inches and steady

Sunday, September 07, 2008

We have Cascades again!

Hurricane Hanna brought us 3.94 inches yesterday and we got another 0.12 inches after midnight. That's a lot of water up in the Cascades Park system, and it all needs a place to go. Four hundred acres of four inches of rain is heading for the falls. They're running this morning and they'll continue to grow through at least tonight!

Hanna is up off the coast of Maine now (at 8 am), and we are looking a clear skies here.
Barometer is 29.74 inches and rising
67 degrees and steady
98% humidity and steady ('though that will go down as we get more sun in here)
The brook is running full enough that you can hear it in the Lodge!
UPDATE: The brook is running in the secondary channel (to the north) as well as the regular one. And there is a flood watch in effect for central Massachusetts.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Last clear day

It looks as though Hurricane Hanna is headed our way, so if you want to spend some (dry) time outdoors, squeeze it in today! The streambed is nearly dry, and we are trying to avoid the painful sight of the Cook's Pond mudflats, so we'll welcome the rain here!

At 9 am, it is 71 degrees and rising
93% humidity and falling (sun's up)
30.06 inches of mercury, holding steady so far

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Hike report

At 8:06 am, it was 65 degrees and steady
97% humidity and steady
Barometer steady at 29.88 inches and a bit overcast

A hike this morning up the Holden Trail end of the Cascades Trail revealed that someone's been clearing it back a bit. (Junior Ranger question: "When are we cleaning up this property?" Cascades East was a private dump for years; let's just say it isn't high on anyone's list!) Japanese knotweed looking sadly healthy in its one clearing (at least it's only one!). No signs over ALB in maples we inspected (hooray!) New signs along Silver Spring, Cascades, and Newton trails are looking great. Checked out the West Tatnuck School spur trail. Took the unmarked trail off of the Newton trail to come out on Navasota. Gentleman we ran into along there reported four deer in their yesterday.

It isn't on the property, but we did find a huge quanity of turkey feathers along Olean Street between Dawson Road and the Holden/Cascades junction. Not much turkey, though.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Woodland Aster

Aster divaricatus
This is a shade-loving native, which you'll see all over the edges of woodland this time of year.
Taken at Cascading Waters yesterday.

Daily Post

September 3,2008

64 degrees and rising
92% humidity
92.88 inches


Sunny and not windy . It is a great day for a hike.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Another fine day

Sunny, with a gentle breeze.
The Wood Aster are in bloom.

As of 9:25 am the weather is:
67 degrees F and rising,
71% humidity and falling,
30.00" Hg and steady,
The USFS server is still down so no Fire Danger Class.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Beautiful Labor Day

We've had quite a number of hikers coming through to enjoy it!
We've failed to mention that earlier this week, the excavator next door left. They left quite a bit of the property wooded, too much, we're fairly sure, to put in six houses. It looks as though the word around the neighborhood (that fewer would be built) may well have been right.
At 4pm, it is 74 degrees
53% humidity (very dry for here)
Barometer is steady at 30 inches

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rain, finally

Last night we had 0.12 inches of rain after midnight, and nothing to speak of before.
While it was enough to get everything wet, that isn't much water.
We're sitting here looking at the mud in Cook's Pond and wondering if it's getting any deeper. While the U.S. Forest service map is down, so we don't have the fire danger map, it won't help with that, either.
At noon, it is 68 degrees.
92% humidity
Overcast skies with a steady barometer of 29.97 inches
The Cascades and the brook continue to trickle.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Feeling like fall

I suppose that makes it easier to get on a school bus this morning.
At 8:15 am, it is 62 degrees
92 humidity
Clear high skies with the barometer steady at 30.00 inches
It looks as though Cook's Pond is gradually refilling across the street; good, as we aren't up for rain until this weekend.

We didn't get to posting yesterday, as it was the remainder of a take-down day for the Outpost. We had a busload of Holy Cross students here at 9:30. Heading up to the Cascades, they carried out the (giant, heavy) tent, camping supplies, and finally the two sections of platform. They, and that load, made it back down here for lunchtime.

(Just in time for the Lodge dwellers to make tracks for Freeport, as we've got a kindergartener who was in need of a backpack!)

So the Outpost is down for the winter, with all stored away in hopes of another round next summer!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

School buses are rolling...

Did you notice all of them out there practicing yesterday?

A bit chilly this morning!
At 9 am, it is 57 degrees
78% humidity
Barometer is steady at 29.91 inches
Fire danger remains LOW
We never got any of that rain to speak of yesterday. Here's hoping the fish hold out!

The excavator next door fired up at 7 am today and has been busy. There's a rumor going through the neighborhood that they don't intend to build out the property, perhaps only building a few of the houses for family. We'll see...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Of Bounds and Impounds

Ok, so dig this...

We get a call this a.m. from a woman who is sure that the pond is still draining.
We promise to go and look for ourselves as I saw the guys close the valve, and saw the flow stop days ago (Saturday).
(In the back of my mind I wondered if the release pipe had gotten undermined somehow, if her story pans out.)

This afternoon I go out to the Olean Street frontage and the water looks more or less the same, and then I turn my head and look north and it looks drier.
Drier?
I go up to the north end of the pond and it sure does look drier.

After making a call another person goes out, but this time to the south end of the pond by the dam.
There is no outflow (good), and the water level seems to him to be rising.
Rising?
Huh, how's that?

I go out to the dam myself, and sure enough, no outflow (good) and the water level is rising (also good). Heck the fish are jumping all over at the dusk light for insects!

So what gives?

Here is my guess:

Pools were left behind to the north on Saturday, which is the shallower end of the pond and the part of the pond that was clearly flooded by the dam to make the pond as big as it is.
The pond had only recently gone down and everything was still wet.
While the flow did stop, the pools were nevertheless on higher ground, even if they were cut off, and over time water sought its own level.
Thus, drier to the north, but overall the pond is reflooding.
Or I am just plain crazy.

Weirdest dang situation.


And then there is the continuing land clearing on our southern flank here at the Lodge.
To date the guy in the forwarder has been great about leaving a buffer on the conservation land of some 8-10 feet. Nevertheless, step away to grab some groceries, come back and decades of tree and understory growth can disappear. So we posted the bound line on the southern and western flank with Greater Worcester Land Trust Property Boundary tags.
Theoretically this, in addition to the operator's caution, as well as the project's own site flagging, should ensure that the project doesn't creep over and accidentally undo what nature has been hard at work at.
This was also a great chance to look carefully at the trunks of numbers of trees, and to look for yard waste dumping (yeah there was some), and trash (not so much thankfully.)

And so ends another busy day here at the Lodge.

Presently it is 8:38 p.m.:
the temperature is 66.0 degrees F and falling,
the humidity is 82% and steady,
the pressure is 29.80" of Hg and steady,
and the USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.

By the way, unfortunately those rain storms never materialized, so the refill continues in slow trickle mode.

Some help for Cook's Pond

Looks like a line of storms will be coming to the rescue of those bass (in time, we hope!)

At 9 am, it is 68 degrees
95% humidity
Barometer is steady at 29.77 inches, showing rain
Fire danger continues at LOW
Although things are damp, we have had no measurable rain so far today

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Case of the Disapearing Pond

Last Sunday I noted that the Cooks Pond across Olean Street was really low.
On Tuesday I spoke with one of the owners of the pond who was at a loss as well.

But the water level seemed stable, and there has to be a reason for the drop I thought, besides I was distracted by the Asian Longhorned Beetles even in my sleep.

Friday things 'seemed' a bit lower.
This Saturday they were clearly even lower and folks were calling.
After some scrambling we all worked together to stop that.

Finally I have an answer to the quandary: where did the pond go anyway?


The pond is controlled by a dam, and the dam has a release valve.
The valve assembly had unfortunately been messed with earlier, and in an effort to fix that vandalism up and protect the mechanics of the dam the owners of the pond decided to lower the pond level slightly to better access things.
When they opened the valve they discovered that the flow was obstructed and the water wasn't being released.
They opened the valve wider, but still not much flow.
They opened the valve all the way.

Well, over the week the blockage slowly was working its way out, and by Saturday morning the valve was fully open and the flow was going great guns draining the pond away.
Problem was that the sudden change wasn't immediately moderated by a judicious closing the valve. Alas.
Thankfully the neighbors were observant, persistent, and concerned.

The valve was re-closed, the water flow was stopped, and now the slow process of refilling begins as the Cascades Brook, the Tatnuck Brook, and the Moreland Brook all work to raise the water level.

Some interesting observations from a neighbor on the extreme draw down:

There are pretty large tree stumps typically submerged that have tops that look to have been chopped by beavers way back in the day to the eyes of Brendan.

There are some amazingly large bass revealed that live in the pond regularly avoiding being caught by decades of folks persistent trying.



Watch Cooks Pond as it refills.
Thanks to all who noticed and called or dropped by to get things figured out.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Clear skies and construction

The excavator is busy next door; more trees coming down.
(And don't we all hope that none of them are maples with ALB??)

At 2:45 pm, it is 81 degrees
60% humidity and falling
Barometer is reading 30.27 inches
Fire danger is LOW, 'though expect to see it go up over the weekend if we get the clear skies forecast.
We've had some bicycles and a few dog walkers go through this afternoon.

If you'd like to help out the Trust on beetlemania...

The Greater Worcester Land Trust needs your help to survey conservation land for signs of the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB). ALB cause massive destruction to trees and if not eradicated quickly could lead to the loss thousands of trees on conservation land in Worcester County. We will be training volunteers to survey and identify ALB on Wednesday September 3rd 5:30 PM at the GWLT office (101 Water St. Worcester, 4th floor). The training will take aprox. and hour and a half. Please RSVP to Anne: 508-795-3838 or anne@gwlt.org.
If you are interested in helping, but unable to attend this training please let us know so that we can tell you about future trainings. We will need to survey over 800 acres of forest before the first heavy frost so everyone who is able to contribute time is needed.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Asian Longhorned Beetles



Like it says.... Contact Anne!

The Asian Invasion: Beetle Mania

So, the Long Horned Beetles are here from Asia.

Much like a movie, the Feds have declared a quarantine and moved in and set up camp.
They will be here for at least 5 years and more will be arriving daily.

I have been rolling this around in my head for the last few days and it feels like a twist on cancer.
We need to kill the trees to save the forest, we don't know how far it has spread, and we know that the treatment will not just hurt but actually kill.
Unlike cancer this is very communicable and it is unethical and immoral for us not to dive in and begin this killing treatment as soon as we possibly can.
So we wait for the frost to descend.

It is a hard thing, and there really isn't a chance to sit around and adjust to this new status.

Anyone who took comfort from it being "only" in Greendale needs a wake up call.
Greendale was where it was first noticed.
The ring expands all the time.
Expect lots, if not all, of Central Massachusetts to be in the quarantine before we are done.
We are just now starting to look, not finishing.


Positively, in 1898 Worcester was celebrating a milestone birthday as a City. They went around and photographed everything. And the landscape that they photographed was bare fields and hills with nothing but grasses and mud. Worcester was deforested.

But look harder at those photos and you see something else.
Seedlings, and saplings, tied to poles, strung up in tripods sitting along every street.
Hope and expectation.
This forest we enjoy by in large wasn't.
It will recover from what we must do, but it will need our help.

And this time we won't plant Norway Maples and Ailanthus! (Crazy Invasive Trees)

GWLT will need volunteers to survey the woods and mark trees that have beetles.
Many many folks need to be drafted to this effort.
Yeah, that means you.

Email anne@gwlt.org and tell her you are ready, willing, and able to help with Beetle Mania.


Presently it is 8:00 am,
the temperature is 55.4 degrees F and rising,
the humidity is 80% and falling,
the pressure is 30.03" Hg and steady,
and the USFS fire danger is LOW.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

About that development next door

For those of you wondering just what the heck is going on next door, we do have the proposed plan here at the Lodge; if you're interested, let us know.
To give you the quick rundown: they're putting in a cul-de-sec ("Olean Circle") on the south (Tatnuck Square) side of the current house. There will be three houses behind the current house (on the Cascading Waters side), two on the end of the circle (backing up to the backyards of the houses on Cataract Street), and one on the south side (they don't own as much land on that side). Yes, that's six houses there, and won't we all be interested in how they squeeze them all in!

It's nice

Very busy around here with hikers this morning, and we've already had a truck pull in next door.

At 8:30 am, it is 69 degrees and rising.
89% humidity
Barometer is steady at 29.74
Looks like there's a small line of clouds coming through this morning.
Fire danger is LOW

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wild Worcester

And by now, I imagine many of you have seen our amazing summer interns in their Worcester Magazine cover story...
They've done amazing work up there and we are very proud of them!


UPDATE: Here's another link through Noah Bombard's site.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cascades are Running

The past week has seen a fair amount of rainfall and as a result the Cascades are indeed running.

The trailhead has seen moderate to heavy use today with hikers passing through.

Presently it is 4:02pm,
the pressure is 29.83" Hg and steady,
the temperature is 74.7 degrees F and falling,
the humidity is 66% and rising,
there has been no new rainfall since midnight,
the USFS fire danger is low,
and the radar map shows no new storms inbound at the moment.

Note: There is land clearing work going on to our south as the neighbors push through in building a small subdivision.
Note 2: The same fate was slated for the Lodge and Cascading Waters along the brook and trail not too long ago, so take some heart.
Note 3: Much as we have taken great care to observe the development that went on the north line of Cascading Waters with an eye towards conservation, so we will be watching over this project as well.

Apologies for the gap in time but the Lodge has been under interim management as we have been off exploring other portions of the North American continent.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Big Ole Raccoon!

Last night in the recently rain drenched world I set out.

Something moving at the end of the driveway, and something big!

It was the really fat next door neighboring raccoon wandering around.

It is always reassuring to see him.

As a kid, raccoons were my favorite wild critter. When I was growing up we used to have and see raccoons all the time. I spent years trying to outsmart them regarding the trash can in the backyard. Then the period of rabies some years back really set them back in terms of population, to the point where I used to see raccoons most as road kill. But not this time, not this night!

Go funky little hunchbacked critter!

As of 8:15 am the weather is:

67.8 degrees F and rising
98% humidity and steady
29.59" of Mercury and steady
All of yesterday's rain totals 0.71"
USFS Forest Fire Danger class is LOW

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Storms coming in

Good chance of thunderstorms coming in this afternoon. If you want to get out, do it now.
(And come see the falls tomorrow!)

Last night's rain gave us .39 inches of rain. I don't know if you caught Paul Roger's column this morning, but he said we've gotten as much rain in four days as we usually get for all of July!

At 2 pm, it is 81 degrees and still rising
78% humidity (which explains those thunderstorms) and falling
Barometer is at 29.59 and steady
Fire danger, thanks to the rain, remains LOW

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Picture perfect

We had a Clark University photo class here last night, taking photos of the falls. Send along anything you'd like to share here!

At 1:30 pm, it is 79 degrees.
We're hanging onto that low humidity: 59%.
Oh, dear...now I'm starting to talk like a weatherman!
The barometer is steady at 29. 74 inches.
Fire danger is LOW.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summertime...

and we are entirely failing at keeping this up to date in the rush of things happening around here!

This week, the parks crew are out in Bovenzi Park, up on the north end of town, clearing and marking trails, and generally making that a useable space up there.
The constant stream of thunderstorms has the falls running.
Last night, we got another .08 inches of rain, on top of the 1.14 inches we got over the 24 hours of Sunday.

At 2pm, it is a very pleasant 80 degrees.
59% humidity (which is why it feels so pleasant!)
Barometer is 29.80 inches and steady
Fire danger is LOW

A group of hikers that came through just used one of our cairns as a photo backdrop!