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.

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 ( 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.

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


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


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.


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