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.

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, I'm starting to talk like a weatherman!
The barometer is steady at 29. 74 inches.
Fire danger is LOW.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


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!

Friday, July 25, 2008

And the skies cleared...

Looks like that might be the sun out there this morning!
The Cascades are back to rushing! Come and see them!

Our rain total for yesterday was 0.98, just shy of an inch.

At 7:30, it is 64 degrees and steady.
98% humidity under the trees
High skies with the barometer at 30.06 and steady
Fire danger is LOW

Thursday, July 24, 2008


The rains, they've been a fallin'.

Over two and a half inches in the last couple days.
There is a small danger we will get that much again, today alone!

As a result there is a flood watch/advisory from the National Weather Service in effect until late tonight. This will be more of a danger down in Green Island and on segments of Southbridge Street and Rt. 20.

Around here that likely means more excellent flow at the Cascades, and that the Cascades Brook uses the alternate secondary channel as well.

Trail conditions are very soft and muddy. Mountain bikes are not recommended. Steeper trail sections like the one immediately next to the Cascades are also not recommended.

Enjoy the water.
Might as well.

UPDATE: Got caught in the monsoon downpour on the way up to Cascades West from the Lodge. Soaked to the bone, as was the 2 year old in the backpack. Beautiful to see all the brooks bursting with flow and white water.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Coyote Sighting!

A GWLT Volunteer Conservation Ranger reported this in today:

"Just wanted to give you a heads up on a confirmed (neighbor saw it too) sighting of a coyote walking down Navasota Ave and heading into Cascades park at the end of the street last night at dusk. Strange to see one in daylight, the neighborhood dogs and cats were all in a tizzy over it."

We saw one two years ago at the back door to the Lodge, and periodically the dogs up the street go nuts at night, but there hasn't been any confirmed sightings since then, UNTIL NOW.

This is good news for the forest.

The only way to manage the population of squirrels, chipmunks, game birds, very very occasionally an old or ill deer, absent hunting by people is to have a natural balancer, i.e. predator. Their presence indicates a healthy balance of wildlife.

Their is a catch of course:

These guys tend to be shy so noise scares them away.
Do yourself and the coyote a favor, if you see one near houses or the road scare it off.
This will avoid acculturation which will get the coyote a death sentence for people concerned with possible rabies.

By the way, dusk isn't all that uncommon a time to see one of these guys. Noontime would be.

Speaking of coyotes, we also had a red fox sighting the other day from the GWLT Interns.
It was walking away quickly with a grey squirrel in it's mouth.
This is also good news for the forest.

That rain adds up!

Yesterday, from midnight on, we had .71 inches of rain.
Added to the .31 we got on Sunday, that inch adds up to enough, over four hundred acres, to give us back the brook! The brook is running, as are the Cascades, 'though both are down even from yesterday.
At 8 am, here at the Lodge, it is 67 degrees.
Barometer is steady at 29.85 inches
Humidity at 97%

Up on the hill, it is 65 degrees.
Barometer also steady at 28.79 inches (lower than here...hmmm)
Humidity at 98%

A report came in last night of a red fox with a grey squirrel in its mouth!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Skies continue clear

I hope you're enjoying all this clear weather!
At 8:30, it is 69 degrees and rising
92% humidity
Barometer is steady at 29.96 inches
Fire danger continues at LOW

The brook and Cascades are down to nearly dry.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blackberry season

Keep your eyes open out there...

taken at Cascading Waters yesterday
(remember, they're blackberries, which means the pink ones aren't ripe.)

At 8:30, with our neighbors firing up with table saw:
it is 70 degrees
87% humidity
Barometer steady at 30.09 inches
Fire danger is LOW

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Up with the sun

I think a cardinal started singing around 4 am this morning...
Ah, wilderness!

At 8 am, it is beautifully clear
64 degrees and rising
92% humidity and steady
Barometer is steady at 30.06

Fire danger continues to be LOW, although it looks like the Berkshires are up to high.
The brook and the falls are down to a summer trickle.

Trail crews are continuing work at Columbus Park today, as there's more to do!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Much trail activity

...not just here, but across the city.
The city trails crew are out at Coes Knife in Columbus Park, blazing trails and clearing trash.
Our interns are out doing some touch-up blazing in the Cascades.
By fall, there will be more trails in Worcester!

This is a late post today, due to running around with trails crews. Sorry.
At 2pm it is 82 degrees and clear.
49% humidity (very low for here!)
Barometer holding steady at 30.03 inches
Fire danger is LOW

Skies are clear all the way down the coast. Get out and enjoy it!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Overcast here this morning, but it looks as though last night's thunderstorms missed us.
At 8 am, it is 71 degrees.
87% humidity
Barometer at 29.77 inches and rising.

It was busy on the trails here yesterday. If you were out, I hope you got a chance to notice the new signs, which the trails crew got up at the end of last week. That crew has moved over to working in Columbus Park this morning, doing some trailblazing there. They'll be at Trust property Nick's Woods later this week.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Beautiful day

A lovely one out there today...get outside and enjoy it!
At 8:45 am, it is 66 degrees.
81% humidity
Fire danger is LOW
Barometer is steady at 30 inches: looks like clear skies all the way to western New York!

Up on the hill is 63.3 degrees
73% humidity

We had some excitement here last night around illicit campers out on Cook's Pond..had to bring in the Cascading Waters Navy!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

this just in from the Natinal Weather Service




Signs going up today

A group of city trail employees (high school students) are out on the trails of the Cascades system today, putting up new city trail signs! You may have seen the signs elsewhere in the city (the city got a grant awhile ago): they're green rectangles with Worcester's "Heart of the Commonwealth". If you see the workers, thank them, as they're working very hard on hot day! And the park will be that much better marked as a result.

At the Lodge at 8 am, it was 73.4 degrees and rising
94% humidity
29.8 inches of pressure and holding steady

The numbers up on the hill:
72.3 degrees and rising
81% humidity and steady
and the pressure is the same

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Gonna get hot..

We're sealing the windows now...
At 9 am it is 74 degrees and rising
94 % humidity
Barometer is holding steady at 29.97 inches

very happy wren outside the window right now

Continuing weather comparisons....
Last night at 8pm
* At the meadow edge: 29.97" Hg; 74.1 degrees F; 71% humidity
* At the lodge: 30.00" Hg; 74.3 degrees F; 89% humidity

This morning at 8am
* At the meadow edge: 29.94" Hg; 71.6 degrees F; 90% humidity
* At the lodge: 29.94" Hg (rarely are they the same); 73.0 degrees F; 95% humidity

Keep a slower even pace in the hazy humidity, and keep hydrated.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Busy day on the trails

Don't let the humidity keep you's less than it has been!
It's also been falling all morning
We just had another group of hikers go through.

At 1:40 pm, it is 79 degrees
76% humidity
Barometer is 30.03 inches (about as high as I've seen it; those are some high skies!)
Fire danger is LOW

Saturday, July 05, 2008

on the rocks

From Wednesday:

More overcast drizzle, with a chance of T-storms!

Well, life here in the Temperate Rainforest continues to be wet.

98% humidity at the Lodge,
98% humidity up by the Meadow,
98% humidity seems to best characterize where we are at.

Yesterday at the Lodge we had 0.20" of rain.
This morning we have trace amounts, 0.04".

But the sky is dark, and wet is where we are at.

As 8am the weather is as follows:
LODGE: 30.00" Hg and steady, 64.4 degrees F and steady, 98% humidity and steady.
MEADOW: 29.97" Hg and steady, 63.1 degrees F and steady, 98% humidity and steady.

The Cascades have a low but constant flow and are really beautiful.
We spent some time last night up at the bridge and the wet rock, the green vegetation, the water cascading, and the sound of falling water is just perfect.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Feeling Wet? (You ought to!)


So every day it rains lately.
Today was supposed to be a rare day without thunderstorms, so instead it just rained....

All of which got me to thinking.
How wet is it?

The answer is a bit wetter than usual.

The month of July is only 4 days old.
MTD rainfall is 1.12"
Usual is 0.6"
So we are up 0.38" for those few days.
So few days that it means very little.

Since June 1 we have 6.67"
Usual is 4.54"
So we are up 2.13"
That is a bunch, but mostly like two killer drenching 1" storms

Sine January 1 we have had 31.11"
Usual is 24.21"
So we are up 6.9"
That is significant!

In short, no matter how you measure it it is a wet summer, and a wet year.

Once again I return to my unproven hypothesis:
Welcome to the Atlantic NorthEast Temperate Rainforest!

Wet, Drizzly, Overcast


Nearly everyday for the next week has scattered showers and thunderstorms in the forecast.
Today was the exception.

It was supposed to be cloudy with a chance of scattered showers.

Unless things markedly improve, and being New England they certainly can, we get more good weather in a thunderstorm day than we are getting today.

Today is a nice cool day, great for a walk, especially with sheep.

The weather at 8am was noted both up on the top of the Cascades at the Meadow and down at the Lodge.

Meadow Edge:
30.00" of Hg steady, 61.5 degrees F and steady, 98% humidity.
Meadow Edge Enclosure:
30.00" of Hg steady, 62.1 degrees F and steady, 94% humidity.
29.97" of Hg steady, 63.3 degrees F and steady, 98% humidity.

The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW

Enjoy the 4th of July!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Enjoy it now

Thunderstorms coming in this afternoon again. Does anyone else feel rather tropical with these sunny mornings and afternoon thundershowers? We had a string of three of them here yesterday (and at the same time as a picnic; quite exciting!).

At 8 am, it is 62 degrees
Humidity is 98% (water gets trapped under the trees)
Barometer is steady at 29.85 inches
Brook is running!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Rhododendron in Cascades West last week

Cooler morning

At 8 am, with dog walkers going through, it is 68 degrees
97% humidity
Barometer is steady at 29.80 inches (not pounds, sorry!)

Fire danger remains LOW