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, 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


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.


...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


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.