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 30, 2009


...but alas, no working batteries in the camera.
But what looked like a young hawk just came and sat for five minutes or so directly next to our birdfeeder. No mistake I'm sure.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Snow! Again!

The brook is running at 6.4" and the second channel is just barely still running. (Yesterday the second channel was running strong, the falls were roaring and the ice was breaking up with the warmth and the rain.)

It is snowing again, just now, which is indeed funny.
This morning I looked out at the product of yesterday's warmth and rains. The last snow storm had pretty much entirely melted away and the only evidence of snow on the ground was from the storm before that. I could see the old path that had been shoveled out, the parking spaces, and the bare ground cleared for the shed, then covered over for so long, that I had even forgotten about it. Now it will get covered again, only to be rediscovered again some unknown number of days in the future. Fun.

Right now it is 11:13 a.m. and the conditions are:
28.76" of Hg and falling;
38 degrees F (yet the snow is sticking to the ground and natural objects that were frozen over last night);
the USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE;
again, the brook is running at 6.4" and the second channel is open;
there is a light breeze and it is snowing enthusiastically.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


The birdfeeder is busy this morning.
As of 10 am, we'd gotten about four inches, with more still coming down.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sunny but chilly

At 9 am it is barely scrapping 30 degrees.
Bright and sunny with a light wind
The stream is at 6 inches; you may not have noticed, but there was some melting yesterday.
The barometer stands at 29.38 and rising

The birds are taking advantage of the clear weather; our birdfeeders (we added a new one this morning) are very busy! One chickadee was so impatient that he flew right over to my feet as I was filling the feeder on the porch!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2:00 pm The shed is completed!

The shed is completed!

2:00 pm

1:30 pm The shed at half hour intervals!

The shed at half hour intervals!

1:30 pm

1:00 pm The shed in half hour increments!

The shed in half hour increments!

1:00 p.m.

12:30 pm The shed at half hour intervals!

The shed at half hour intervals!

12:30 pm

12 pm The shed at half hour intervals!

The shed at half hour intervals!

12:00 pm

11:30 am The shed at half hour intervals!

The shed at half hour intervals!

11:30 am

11:00 am The shed at half hour intervals!

The shed at half hour intervals!

11:00 am

10:30 am The shed at half hour intervals!

The shed at half hour intervals!

10:30 am

10:00 am The shed at half hour intervals!

The shed at half hour intervals!

10:00 am

9:30 am The shed at half hour intervals!

The shed at half hour intervals!

9:30 am

9:00 am The shed at half hour intervals!

The shed at half hour intervals!

9:00 am

8:30 am The shed at half hour intervals!

The shed at half hour intervals!

8:30 am

8:00 am The shed at half hour intervals!

The shed at half hour intervals!

8:00 am

7:30 am The shed at half hour intervals!

The shed at half hour intervals!

7:30 am

Monday, December 14, 2009

We're getting a SHED!

Sorry for the lack of posting today: we've all been a bit busy, as we're getting a new shed and we've just been told: it's coming tomorrow!

Photos to come!

Friday, December 11, 2009


You'll want to add a scarf today. Not only is it cold, but the wind is blowing too!
We just brought in another load of firewood, and we'll have the fire going here, shortly.

The stream level fell overnight, as it wasn't warm enough to melt much more. As of 9 am , the stream is running at 6 inches (had to knock some ice off to get that).

It's 22 degrees and very slowly rising.
Barometer is 29.09 under blue skies
Stay warm!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stream is running high!

Between the rain that fell after the snow yesterday and the slowly-creeping-up temperature, we're seeing a lot of water coming down the hill! The stream right now is up to 7 inches even; I think it will go higher today. Both the secondary and tertiary channels are flowing, and the Cascades are rushing through the snow. If you've never seen the Cascades in the winter, come have a look!

The National Weather Service is reporting a total of 7.5 inches of snow in Worcester yesterday.

At 9am, it is just hitting 40 degrees and rising
The barometer is 28.67 and rising under clear blue skies

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Still coming down as snow here at 11 am!
A late post because we needed to get out and play in the snow and then have pancakes.

At 11 am, it is 36 degrees and steady
Barometer is at 28.91 and falling
We haven't yet trudged down to the stream, which is snowy.
We've got maybe five inches here, and there's lots more precipitation coming.

Enjoy! And get out your snowshoes! We're getting out ours!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Cold day to vote!

We're posting a bit late today, as we took a bit of the morning to walk down to the polls. Cold out there today!
(Go vote, anyway!)

The cold means that Cook's Pond is starting to get a coat of ice; it's a bit bigger every morning. As it looks like we have only a slight chance of getting above freezing for any length of time this week, that will only continue. Most of the snow we got over the weekend has stuck around, except in the spots that get a lot of sun.
The stream this morning, which is still running briskly, is at 5 inches even.
The barometer (at noon) is at 29.47 and rising; that will change over the course of the afternoon, as we've got a storm coming in.
Current temperature here is just 40, with a bit of a breeze. It was 30 when I check this morning at 7 am.

Snow coming in tonight, through tomorrow lunchtime: could add up to several inches. Best chance of a snow day we've had so far this year!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Juncos are here!

I don't know if they were waiting on snow or what, but those flocks of busy little gray birds are out there this morning. And, tipped off by the squirrels, they've found the birdfeeder.

The stream is at 5.6; down a bit, as the snow really isn't melting.
The temperature is 36 and slowly rising, as of 9am
The barometer is 29.47 inches and steady under overcast skies

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Snow coated landscape

The Lodge fireplace is ablaze this evening.
The warmer weather never totally materialized and the snows pasted to the sides of the trees are still in evidence.
There are spots of wet mush as well as spots of ice on the trails.
All in all it was and remains beautiful out there.

Today the USFS Fire Danger Class is: NONE (hardly a surprise there!)
Presently it is 9:25 pm and:
The temperature is 27 degrees F;
and the pressure is 29.47" of Hg and steady.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Snow coming

Snow is coming, and some of it already fell before switching over to rain.

12:01 p.m. and:
The Cascades Brook is presently running at 5.4";
The temperature is 40 degrees F;
The pressure is at 29.23" and steady;
The sky is overcast, it is spitting rain, and there is a fair breeze;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is at LOW.

The predictions call for a confused mix. No one really knows what the final result will be.
Pavement should fair well as it retains heat well and snow won't accumulate well when and if it falls.
Bare ground cools faster and could see more accumulation.
I have heard that this area could possibly see as much as 3-6" before this is over, but that it will all melt as soon as temps rise on Sunday.

We here are hopeful for snow.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Sunny and chilly

Not as lovely as yesterday (which we enjoyed on the Hull ferry in Boston Harbor), but still quite lovely for December 4!
At 9 am it is 40 degrees and rising
The barometer stands at 29.29 inches of mercury and rising
Skies are clear and blue
The stream is up to 6 inches even, still full of runoff from Tuesday's rain.
Still no birds at the feeder.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Clear day

Nice clear cold day out there this morning. Frost on the ground and the windshields.
At 9 am it is 39 degrees and rising (slowly).
Barometer stands at 29.38 and steady.
The stream is at 4.8 inches.

We finally got one of our birdfeeders out yesterday; we'll see if the birds remember us!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Stream is up!

The stream is up to 5 inches this morning, from yesterday's rain. Both the secondary and tertiary channels are open.
At 9 am it is 38 degrees and rising slowly. It's cold enough to numb your ears!
The barometer is at 29.09 and rising under clear blue skies.
The work on the development next door continues, 'though it looks like today they won't be in Olean Street but are sticking within the property.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Rains return

It is 8:50 a.m. and sprinkling on and off, with occasional breaks in the clouds for sun just to confuse things.

The Cascades Brook is flowing at 5";
The temperature is 52 degrees F;
The pressure is at 28.79" of Hg and steady;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE;
The surfaces show a sheen of wet, and last night left a dew on things to boot.

The National Weather Service calls for rain this morning until 4 p.m. and then occasional showers in the evening.
Still, it is unseasonably warm.

The development project next door continues at full throttle.

When I headed down to Olean this morning I saw a full armada of ducks heading away from the shore in a phalanx formation as if they were the introductory scene from a oscar winning film. The water before them was like glass and the water behind them showed tracks of turbulent disturbance and flow. Quite the image.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Warm Foggy Night

I just went for a short walk outside and it was comfortable in short sleeves.
More of this oddly warm November, that is now very nearly over!

The time now is 8:51 p.m;
The Cascades Book is at 4.6" with decent flow;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW;
The pressure is at 29.91" of Hg and steady;
The temperature is 49 degrees F;
There is partial visibility of the moon through low haze/fog.

Happy Thanksgiving folks!

Monday, November 23, 2009

This was supposed to be a sunny day?!

This was supposed to be a sunny day?!

Ah well....
At least the rains hold off until around 2pm.

Presently it is 7:49 a.m. and the conditions are:
29.97" of mercury and steady;
43 degrees F;
overcast with a light breeze;
otherwise dry with no new precipitation as yet;
the Cascades Brook is at 5";
USFS Forest Fire Danger Class is None.

The development continues at full throttle to our south.

Yesterday morning, starting at 4 a.m. ish we lost power, and only regained it around 5:30-6:00 p.m.
That was a fun reminder of last year's ice storm complete with fire in the fireplace, flashlights and oil lamps.
Two telephone poles were taken out early Sunday morning in a car accident/fatality.
New poles, new lines, and an accident scene needed tending to.
Olean Street/Reservoir Road was closed from Holden at Bailey Road to Worcester's Dawson Road.
It would appear that someone went into the Olean Street curve near Dawson Road much much too fast.
It was hard to complain or begudge the loss of power under the circumstances.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another amazing November day!

This has got to be the most pleasant November I can recall.

Presently it is 12:15 pm:
The temperature is a wondrous 57 degrees F,
The Cascades Brook is at 5.4" with good flow due to our week of recovery from the rains;
The pressure is at 29.23" and steady;
There was no precipitation registered over night;
The USFS Forest Fire Danger Class is LOW;
The sun keeps poking through the clouds and is making it a short sleeves and vest sort of day!
There is a light breeze.

The trails are in good condition and are firming up after the rains.
It is a great day to get out there and embrace the weather while we have it!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rain coming!

We've got a hazardous weather outlook coming in for tonight: heavy rain, possibly flooding. Go make sure there aren't leaves covering your storm drain!

At 9 am, it is 40 degrees and rising, but only slowly.
We've got some wind here as well.
Barometer stands at 29.44 inches of mercury and steady under overcast skies.

I'd say that if you want to get out and not get soaked, you might want to get out there today!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Stream is up

And sure enough, the stream is up to 5.2 this morning, running fast. The Cascades are flowing nicely.
Overcast out there; the barometer is at 29.53 under cloudy skies.
It is just hitting 50 degrees now.
We saw plenty of people out and about yesterday enjoying the lovely fall day. Today should be a bit cloudier, but you might want to get out now: rain is coming in (and it's quite a storm if you check out the radar map).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Culvert check

As I type this, the big DPW truck is checking the culverts up on Cataract Street. Thanks! Always good to avoid unnecessary flooding (the National Weather Service does have a hazardous weather warning for street flooding up)...And the Cascades are running nicely today!

It is raining again here, knocking down a lot of the yellow maple and hickory leaves. It doesn't appear to have slowed down the squirrels, however.

At 9 am, it is 48 degrees
The barometer is at 29.23 and steady

And just to clarify: even if there is no sign up and I don't see you? You still can't take an ATV over by Cook's Pond.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Signs & Cooks

Yesterday was fun.

In a driveby of the Cook's Pond property I caught in a fleeting glance a previously unnoticed "posted" sign.

As my brain was trying to process that at 35 plus MPH I also half noted the absence of the "No Motorized Vehicles" sign that went up last week as well.

I needed to do another pass for recon to confirm what my instant reactions thought they recorded, and sure enough, the poison ivy lost enough leaves to reveal another "posted" sign, and someone swiped the no-motorized one (aluminum nails still in the tree.)

So yesterday I grabbed a ladder, some clippers, and the bag of sign stuff and merrily headed out to rectify the situation.

The funny part is that folks take signs for two reasons:

1. Trophies for the den (not very helpful); or
2. As if there were magic in the sign and taking it down makes the restriction go away and the landowner suddenly agreeable (not very smart).

Well, if there be magic in the sign, know this, I got a bag full of them, and master screens for them at a sign producer in upstate New York.

If it is just a trophy, well, hopefully you only needed to steal that one.

In any case it was a warm and gorgeous day, and it was nice to be out on the property.

We will keep an eye on things, albeit a peripheral vision one.
Hikers and locals are most welcome to note and report missing signs and we will get right on it.

Stream's up

This morning the stream is up to 4 inches, as the snow (it snowed again up by the airport yesterday) melts in the hills.
The swamp maples are turning yellow (they tend toward yellow; funny, as they are also called red maples...the red is the stem of the leaf)

At 9 am it is 29.32 inches of mercury and steady under sunny skies
It's 42 degrees and slowly rising
One of our daily dogwalkers just went through.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Snowy morning

The most startling aspect of this morning's weather is of course the snowfall, which contrary to all expectations, actually stuck! It's an odd scene out there today: having a few leaves on the trees for the first snowfall isn't unusual, but we still have entire trees that haven't even turned yet!

at 9 am, it is 36 degrees and rising (thus the snow has turned to rain)
The barometer is at 29.18 inches of mercury under cloudy skies
Fire danger is LOW (and probably falling)

We'll give the stream a bit to catch up with the snow before reporting on that.
Enjoy the weather!

First snow

Yes, folks, it is October 16, the leaves haven't even all turned yet...

And that is snow on the ground!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Golden day

The light is golden under the leaves today...beautiful out there right now!
It is COLD, though, so wrap up! While we did not have a frost here at the Lodge (the trees are good insulation), there was one out on Olean Street. It is definitely fall!

At 9 am, it is right at 40 degrees and rising (but not much and not fast)
The barometer is at 29.41 inches and steady under blue skies.
The stream stands at 3.2 inches from yesterday's rain.

We've got some activity next door at the proposed development today; it looks like they're moving logs around.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Clearing out

Nice blue sky up there, in between the falling leaves. And they are coming down this morning, with the wind we have right now.
The recent rain has brought the stream level back up to 3 inches.
At 10 am it is 61 degrees and still rising.
Barometer is at 28.97 inches and steady.
And we're seeing some hikers coming through today!
Enjoy the long weekend!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Ice damage survey going on

Nice article (with photos!) in today's Telegram and Gazette on the survey work being done by Professor Hansen and his class at Worcester State College. He's included two land trust properties (the photos were all taking here at the Cascades), the other being God's Acre up by the airport.

Rainy fall

We're having some highly seasonal fall rain here today. Who says New England doesn't have a wet season?
This brings the stream back up to 2.6 inches, and we'll expect that to go higher as the 400 acres behind us drains downstream. As you'll see from the photo below, we've got at least one downstream neighbor who will be enjoying the water!
At 9 am, it is 56 degrees and rising.
Raining like the dickens
Barometer is 29.64 and falling

We'll expect to see largely only the most devoted of dog walkers out there today. It is pleasant, if you don't mind getting wet!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Out with the old, In with the new!

Good news!!!

Working our way around the Olean Street edge of the Cook's Pond Conservation Restriction this afternoon.

Taking down the old signs...

and replacing them with the new ones.

It is great to see progress like this!

The only fly in the ointment was that today we had ATV's not only around the base of the Cascades, which is now elevated to a wetlands violation and may yet manifest as an regulatory enforcement order, but now they are trying to move into Cook's Pond CR where they are uninvited by the owners and prohibited by the conservation agreement.

There is always work to be done...

* * * * * *

Why, you might ask, is there a problem with ATV and motorbike users here?

A fair question.

The Basic Misunderstanding:

ATV and motorbike users, particularly the city ones, are spending many thousands of dollars on equipment without owning any land on which to use them. This is mistake number one.

Unfortunately, folks buy them with the intent of using them on lands they do not own, do not have permission to use, and frequently are clearly prohibited from using. This is mistake number two.

This two strikes and no balls starting point leaves the owners down in the count and makes the ensuing conflicting use questions hard to resolve as there wasn't a initial respect for the land or the rights of the owner(s) of the land and there is already a defensive and sometimes belligerent attitude.

Occasionally there is a third strike where the equipment is unregistered (owners avoiding taxes) and then the users drive streets and cross streets in the course of their use. But that isn't a conservation issue, just a law and order issue.

Ok, so fine, the equipment is out there, so what?

Approach to the Land:

ATV's and motorbikes CAN be used in a low gear, slowly, on an occasional basis in any given spot in order to allow older folks (particularly older hunters) and general maintainers of land (farmers) with tools and equipment access to corners of the property with a minimal impact on the land. I've seen it. This is generally how folks use the equipment when the land they use is their own. This is rarely how this equipment is used for sport locally however. Generally the users are young, riding fast, and running the same track over and over again wearing it away.

A steward of the land like a hunter or a farmer would give taking a ride a pass just after a substantial rainfall to avoid erosion. Generally the sport users have magazines and posters that show the users and their rides coated in a thick layer of mud attesting to their exploits. That mud is visual proof of destruction of the landscape. That this is encouraged in advertising is irresponsible and it only makes shifting attitudes to respect for the land that much harder.

Someone invested in the land and its long term health, like your average farmer, stays out of brooks and wetlands, and invests in establishing crossings with stones, boards, or a bridge to ensure the water quality and avoid erosion and the loss of valuable soil. Generally our local sport users head straight into the streams and wetlands without giving it a second thought.

Ok, so now the damage is done. What then?

To be fair there are impacts to any human use of the land. It is the scope and the extent of those impacts that determine appropriate and inappropriate uses. When a site is degraded and the natural system is damaged that is a point where the use is stopped and a solution implemented, and until the solution is implemented the area is closed.

With foot traffic damage to a hiking trail it may be possible to repair the damage with hand tools in a matter of hours.
With mountain bike damage it might take a weekend or even a week to repair the damage and try to harden the site to handle the renewed impact.
With an ATV or motorbike it frequently takes bulldozers, backhoes, and heavy equipment to try to reestablish the original conditions. The number of volunteer hours it may take to fix the situation with hand tools can in fact run into the thousands for a given small impact site. A whole property with damage can be mind boggling. One ATV on a rainy day can create months of repair work for volunteers. That immense disporporitonate impact on the land with a high powered motor is the crux of the problem.

You can break the landscape as well as break the budget of the private owner, agency, or organization responsible for the proper care and stewardship of the land. It is why so many private and public lands are posted against trespass. It is why trail corridors are closed down.

In short illicit motorized use of conservation lands for sport is neither legal, ethical, neighborly, nor a responsible act.

That in a nut shell is the problem.

How to explain the impacts and consequences to someone who knowingly purchased equipment with the illegal use of that equipment clear from the outset is an uphill challenge. Respect often was not a part of the equation up to that point of conflict, and it is much harder to introduce it later on.

It is nevertheless the job of private landowners, conservation organizations, regulatory agencies, elected officials, law enforcement personnel, and concerned citizen's responsibility to confront these issues in order to safeguard the lands we are entrusting to future generations.

* * * * *

The ATVs and motorbikes expanding their use into Cook's Pond today is a real problem and one we will have to directly address.

Cook's Pond resident

From our neighbor Brendan, we get this great shot of a Cook's Pond resident. Yes, that is a beaver! Excellent!

Leaves are yellow

...largely yellow here...more red out along the street.
The stream level has fallen back down to 2 inches even this morning
At 9 am, it is 55 degrees and rising under clear blue skies
The barometer is at 29.18 and steady

And we've got a healthy crop of acorns out there!

Monday, October 05, 2009

A nice, if windy, day!

8:52 a.m. here at the Lodge.

Temperature is 57 degrees F.
Barometric Pressure is 29.09" of Hg and steady.
3" in the brook.
Fire Danger Class is LOW.

The weekend rains have recharged the brook, and the cooler temperatures and the rain have put the leaf drop into fast forward.

We still have a good mix of yellows and some reds along with the browns here at the Cascades (I was noting that the Bovenzi Conservation Park which received the ALB 'buzz cut' is largely, but not exclusively, a palette of browns.)

The ground is a little soft but muddy, so hike with a light foot!

A couple of reflections:

We are having a low level dumping problem at the trailhead to the Cascades Trail. Broken rakes, broken shovels, carpet chunks, and most lately a medicine cabinet dropped off by a passing motorist intent on dumping on public open space. Not precisely sure how to nab or nip in the bud this one. Hikers, particularly early morning hikers, are encouraged to keep an eye out on our behalf if you could please!

And on a more positive note, we are celebrating our having been blessed with spending the last three years here at the foot of the Cascades and one of her many trailheads. Three times now we have been able to watch the seasons unfold, the flood waters rise and fall, the hikers, bikers, snow shoers cycle through. It has been a fabulous time. When we first arrived there was no trailhead, no parking area, no signs, and no stone cairns. We had no idea that the brook could and would run under the house if given half the chance. There was no way to imagine that there would be a night of ice storm snapping and cracking to keep every living thing wide wake and quite aware for miles around. The giant snapping turtle that visited the house, the coyotes (one with a broken leg, one hunting a baby raccoon unsuccesfully), the wild turkey, the possum, the multitudinous skunks, the racoons (big and small), the elderly porcupine, the rabbits, the ground hogs, the mice the voles, the hawks (including one eating the unlucky bird at the bird feeder), the owls, the deer drinking in the brook, the squirrels grey and red (my personal favorites), the chipmunks, have all immeasurably added to the experience of living here in the wilder north-west section of Worcester.

The funny part is that you get the feeling you have only just begun to scratch the surface of what is going on in the natural arena, and you hope to share it all with others as it gives living a richer texture.

It is unknowable how long we will be here serving as caretakers, but we have enjoyed every bit so far and we can only hope to be able to enjoy any more that come along our way.

Happy Anniversary Cascades!!!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Rainy Saturday

As of 8 am, the stream was already up to 2.6 inches (from 1.4 earlier in the week), and the rain is just getting started!
At 9 am, it is 52 degrees
And it's raining!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Where did the rain go?

So back at the beginning of the week, it looked like we were in for another rainy week.
That hasn't happened.
We've got another day of clear skies here: barometer at 29.21 and steady
Temperature at 9 am is 46 degrees and rising
Not much activity on the trail so far today--it's a bit chilly--but it is a good day to get out there. The maples are turning.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chilly and overcast

At 9am, it is overcast and chilly.
54 degrees and some wind
Barometer is at 28.94 inches and steady

Let's be careful on the trails out there today, folks, okay?

Medical Update

The mountain biker dude is going to be fine.
He will be off the bike for a bit, but is looking forward to hiking and then snowshoeing in the interim.

All is well that ends well, and while it isn't nearly over as yet for him, the path to recovery is clear.

Note to self: Check your toe clips, and if they aren't behaving well, replace them.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In Case You Ever Wonder Why We're Here...

this afternoon we had a biker arrive at our front door, not looking too good and holding onto his arm. He was afraid he'd broken it. We brought him in, got him sitting down, and decided he hadn't broken it, but that his elbow wasn't so good. Got him something to drink, and eventually put him on the couch, lest he faint.
He and Colin (bike in the back) went off to the ER shortly thereafter. It's now almost three hours word yet.
But, yeah, we do first aid :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Heads up!

It is NUT season in the forest (insert your own hiker joke here), so heads up! If you here something coming down fast through the trees, you're probably under a hickory nut tree and one has just broken loose. Heads up! They hurt if they hit you!
If, on the other hand, you hear more of a pattering noise (like rain), you're under a squirrel who is unshelling a hickory nut. Little pieces come pelting down through the leaves as the squirrel has a snack. Good fun!

At nine am, it is 68 degrees under cloudy skies.
29.41 inches of mercury (rain and possible thunderstorms moving in)
The stream is still at 1/2 inch

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Stream is down

The stream this morning is down to 1/2 inch, as low as it's been this year. Looks like it's bound to be back up again by the weekend, as there is rain coming.
At 9 am, it is about 62 degrees
The barometer is at 29.53 inches and steady under overcast skies.

We saw lots of traffic on the trail yesterday; if you want to stay dry, get out today!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Boy Scouts

We had a troop of Boy Scouts (little ones) come through this morning on a hike. They went all the way up to Boynton Park, took the side trail to West Tatnuck School, and enjoyed the playground there.
They also saw a snake.

Lovely Saturday

...and the trail is humming!
(not literally. It is seeing a lot of traffic already today, though!)

At 9 am it is 54 degrees under sunny skies.
The barometer is at 29.41 and steady
It looks to be a great day for a hike. Get out there while you can (if you aren't already wrapped into the myriad of activities available in Worcester this fall!).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rain coming in

The stream as of this morning is back down to 1.8 inches, but not to fear: more rain is coming!

At 10 am, it is 60 degrees and steady, damp and chilly
We're still recalbrating our outdoor system, so no humidity (but it's damp!).
Barometer is at 29.50 inches and steady under cloudy skies.

A bit of excitement from yesterday: the Cascades map is UP! Some of you might remember the giant map of the Cascades park system up in Boyton park which came down several years ago. It has been fixed up, repainted, updated, and, as of yesterday, put back up in Boyton. More to come up there, but in the meantime, enjoy it! And thanks to those who came out for the United Way Day of Caring to help!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Clark goes hiking

Both yesterday (in the rain) and today (in much nicer weather), we've had groups from Clark University's Outing Club come through on a hike! Yesterday's group did a loop up through the meadow and today's left about a half hour ago.
(And here's a tip: if you're with a group and give us a heads up, not only can you have a genuine welcome from someone from GWLT, there might be cookies. It's worth doing.)

Yesterday we had a total of 0.51 inches of rain, with another 0.04 inches after midnight last night.
Thus, the stream today is up to 3.4 inches, with a good flow over the Cascades.
At 1 pm today, it's 29.09 inches and steady on the barometer.
We appear to need new batteries in the meter outside, so I'm going to declare that it's about 73 degrees and leave it at that!

Good to see so many of you at Canal Fest yesterday!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rain coming in

Hope you got a chance to enjoy the sun earlier this week...we've got the fall rain moving in now.
At 9 am, it is 53.8 degrees and steady (chilly)
93% humidity and steady
29.59 inches of mercury and steady
The stream is down to 1.2 inches...still a trickle.

On Tuesday night, we were visited by a skunk! It came right up onto the porch. We generally have at least one around, and they're bulking up now for the winter. Keep an eye out around dusk (and keep your dog on a leash; we know at least one neighbor dog that tangled with one!).

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Lovely week

And the nice weather continues: cool in the morning, warming up as the day goes along.
The stream is consequently down to 2.2 inches today
At 9 am, it was 62.6 degrees and rising
94% humidity and falling (not yet cool enough for the fog off the pond; we'll get there soon)
29.44 inches of mercury under clear blue skies

All those white flowers you see in the forest now are woodland aster (a native wildflower!). The ones around here are fall-blooming.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Visitor at the stream

Exciting news from the stream check this morning:
The stream stands at 2.8 inches AND
on the edge of the stream, where the brook had formed a pool when in was running high, our junior ranger reports RACCOON prints! "They look like little hands," she says.
We'll try to get out there with a camera later this morning to record it.

UPDATE: it also appears that the raccoon not only found the geocashe, he checked to be sure there wasn't a snack in it, and it ended up disgarded in the brook. Anybody know how to discontinue a geocashe?

More fall

At 9 am, it is 57.9 degrees and rising
73% humidity and falling (there's tip off for fall!)
29.53 inches of mercury and steady
Bright sunny skies
Great day for a hike! In fact it looks like it will be a great day for a hike all week!

We've got a cable guy wandering around over here, as we may just manage to make it off of a dial-up connection this week!

Monday, August 31, 2009


Did we have a summer in there? If it's like this all week, it will feel just right for yellow school buses on Wednesday!
At 9 am, it is 61 degrees and rising
80% humidity and steady
29.29 inches and steady
The brook had subsided down to two inches again, but with the rain from Hurricane Danny on Saturday (1.22 inches Saturday, .083 inches Friday), it's back up again, this morning to 3.8 inches.

Sorry for the long gap in posts: we were away for a week, admiring buffalo in Minnesota, and then took a week to re-adjust. We should be back on schedule now!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The numbers at noon

At noon today it is overcast, 'though not actively raining.
68.4 degrees and steady
94% humidity and steady
29.29 inches of mercury and rising
No rain to measure since midnight; 0.12 inches before (and did you see it? Some of it was going sideways!)
We've got walkers crossing paths right now, one with two little dogs.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A hot(ter) one

Early forecasts said it could get up to 90 today, but it's backed off quite a bit and we're topping out the day in the low 80's. It does feel much more like summer today, though!

At 9 am, it is 70.2 degrees and rising
98% humidity and steady
29.15 inches of mercury and steady
We had 0.16 inches of rain since midnight (none before).
The stream is quite a bit down, to 3.8 inches as of today. Without rain, it will go down pretty fast!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Lovely Friday

What a nice week!
At 9 am, it is 65.8 degrees and rising
72% humidity and falling
29.23 inches of mercury and steady
no rain and clear skies

Yesterday's numbers

At 9 am on Thursday it was 66.9 degrees and rising
77% humidity and falling
29.21 inches of mercury and steady

We had an ALB hunt over on Dawson Road at noon on Thursday, which got some nice coverage in Friday's Telegram and Gazette:

The Greater Worcester Land Trust, a nonprofit conservation organization, is fielding a “Beetle Brigade” of trained volunteers who meet regularly to scour conservation land for signs of the invasive insect, and the trust has launched a new round of training sessions to teach ordinary citizens how to recognize the beetle’s telltale destruction.

The idea, said trust Executive Director Colin M.J. Novick, is to supplement professional tree surveyors, go where surveyors have not gone and find problem areas the pros have not yet seen.

“We have not falsely identified a (infested) tree ever,” Mr. Novick told seven people who attended a training session yesterday on trust property off Dawson Road near the Holden line. “You guys are good. Volunteers are good.”

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Clear until it wasn't

The thunder and rain just came rolling in at 2:30 pm!
At 10 am, we had 76.1 degrees and rising (we're back to falling now that the rain is here).
85% humidity and falling
29.15 inches on the barometer and steady (it's still the same)
The fire danger is NONE

The light breeze continues. Up until yesterday, we hadn't experienced one of the nicer things about living in the Lodge in the summer, which is the changing breeze direction. Due to temperature differences, in the morning, we get a breeze coming up from Cook's Pond towards the front of the Lodge. In the evening, we get a breeze coming down the hill (from the Cascades) towards the back. It has to be warm enough in the valley to make the air move, 'though, and it hasn't been until yesterday!

What lives in the woods?

From last week's outpost breakdown

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A beautiful rain free day

Here we are closing out the day, and wasn't it wonderful?

The brook is babbling, the sun was in effect, the world was not damp at all, hikers were out. Generally good all around.

Presently it is 8:33 p.m. and we will do a rare evening observations for your pleasure.
72.0 degrees F and steady;
85% humidity and steady;
29.15" of mercury and steady;
the USFS fire danger class is LOW;
there is a slight breeze that is cool passing through;
and if you have a clear spot you can catch a glimpse of the Presides meteor shower's tailing end.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Nice one

And, even better news, no clouds on the way for a bit!
At 9:08 am, it is 70.2 degrees and rising
91% humidity and steady
29.23 inches of mercury and steady
Fire danger is LOW
We've had no rain in the past 48 hours ('though Friday's total was a huge 1.85 inches, which is why we still have a rapidly running Cascades Brook!)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Enjoy the Sun!

We have sun!
Tomorrow we will have some sun and some rain, so enjoy the moment!
Due to the full sun after the rain you should see some really vivid greens out there today.

The weather as of 10:00 a.m.:
68.9 degrees F and rising;
93% humidity and falling;
29.32" of mercury and rising;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW;
Yesterday's rain here at the Lodge was 1.85", which is more than they received up at the airport.

It is not just this year that is overly wet.
Looking back, last year was even wetter, though this July was exceptional!

A big thanks to the crew from the United Way who broke down the 2009 Cascades Conservation Observation Outpost this past Thursday. They broke down the massive 18' x 36' tent, and hauled all of the poles and the massive canvas out of the woods.

You may also notice the three new cross braces on the sign posts up in Boynton Park's picnic area. They assembled those as well as we are planning for the return of the 4'x8' trail and open space map.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Is there rain? A tornado?

There's a weather system sitting off to our west this morning: we've got a forecast ("Hazardous Weather") of incoming thunderstorms, but no sign of them yet, even on the barometer.

At 9am, it is 68.9 degrees and rising
95% humidity and steady
29.85 inches and steady under slightly cloudy skies
The stream is at 4.6 inches

And here's the relevant passage from the weather warning:

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rainy and then clear

...which is the opposite of the weather report I heard...oh, well.
We were out and about early today, so we don't have morning numbers.

At 2:30 pm, the skies have cleared, and it's 79 degrees and falling (!)
73% humidity and steady
29.80 inches of mercury and steady
This morning we had 0.28 inches of rain
Fire danger is still low
Not much movement on the trail today, 'though we have heard that the bugs are busy!

Yesterday's numbers

Wednesday, July 29 at 9 am:
74.3 degrees and steady
91% humidity and steady
29.91 inches of mercury and steady
Stream is at 4.6 inches
Fire danger continues to be (mercifully) low

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lovely day

At 9 am, it is 71.6 degrees and rising
89% humidity and falling with a light breeze
29.94 inches of mercury and steady under sunny skies
We had no rain after midnight last night
The stream is at 4.4 inches
Fire danger is LOW

Quite a lovely day for a walk in the woods. It looks like it will be clear for much of the day.

Monday, July 27, 2009

ALB: the hunt is on!

The first sighting of this year's Asian Longhorned Beetle was last week: they are out and about.
Time to go look for them!

This year's first ALB hunt is next Thursday, August 6 at noon.
We're heading to the northwest side of town: Camp KinneyWood and Dawson Road.

Meet at the end of Dawson Road (just keep on going until you run out of road) for a 10 minute training and the beetle hunt!
Bring binoculars if you've got them.

Chance of Rain, Chance of Showers, Chance of T-Storms....

All is normal here.

It is partly sunny, partly cloudy, the lightest of breezes, and humid.
As of 9:00 a.m. our conditions are:

72.1 degrees F and rising;
98% humidity and steady;
29.91" of mercury and steady;
The Cascades Brook is at 4.6";
Yesterday's precipitation was 0.04";
Since midnight we have received 0.00" of precipitation;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE.

Interesting note:
For the month of July we have received 9.22" so far.
Typically we would be at 3.54".
We are way above average for the month!

Since June 1st we have received 15.73" whereas generally we would have received 7.56".

You might think, WOW! This is a wet year!
Nope. Not yet anyway.

Our spring was so dry, remember there was no real "mud season" this year, that we are only a bit over the total precipitation for the year to be expected.

Final analysis: We needed this rain.
(Which is good because there is a chance of rain every day from now until Friday.)
I know that is tough to hear.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cascading Water!

Water, water!

All that water that came down last night, 2.09 inches since midnight and 0.59 yesterday, has to go somewhere: it's heading down the hill!
The stream is surging between one foot, two inches and one foot, three inches this morning. There's just a LOT of water out there this morning! There's a flood watch in effect until 10 am this morning (with good reason).

At 9 am, it is 61 degrees and steady
98% humidity and steady
Barometer is 29.74 inches of mercury and steady under cloudy ('though not currently raining) skies.
Photos to follow, 'though they'll never do the Cascades justice, so come by!

White Wild Frothing Madness!!!

You have to check out the Cascades as soon as possible!
The over 2" of rain last night are presently crashing down the side of the Cascades.
White wild frothing madness!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gate at the end of the road

Thanks to all who braved the cloudy-turning-to-rainy skies tonight and got up the Gate at the End of (Dawson) Road! Those were some of the fastest holes we've ever had to in. Very enthusiastic small helpers, too (nice hammering, Rachel!).
We could not do what we do without volunteers who show up (rain, mud, ATVs, notwithstanding). You guys are great!
Thank you!
There will be another work project getting that newly protected trail into shape and marked. Watch for it!

Overcast and humid

At 9:30 it is 66 degrees and steady
98% humidity and steady
30.06 inches of mercury in the barometer under cloudy skies
We've received no rain in the past 24 hours
Fire danger is LOW

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


At 9 am this morning, it was overcast with no breeze (at noon? clearing out)
63.0 degrees and steady
30.12 inches of mercury and steady
98% humidity and steady (it really hangs under the trees)
Fire danger is LOW
We had a total of 0.83 inches of rain yesterday; 0.08 inches since midnight today
The stream stands at 5.4 inches

Not much traffic on the trail today; I expect it to pick up as people see the sun is here!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rainy morning

As of 9:02 a.m. the conditions at the Lodge are as follows:

Overcast, with a light breeze;
63.3 degrees F and steady;
97% humidity and steady;
30.18" of mercury and steady;
0.00" of rain yesterday;
0.16" of rain since midnight; and
The USFS Fire Danger is LOW.

It is a beautiful day for a walk as it is cool and not actively precipitating!

UPDATE from cascadingwaters: as of 5 pm, we have had 0.71 inches of rain since midnight! We have also had several hikers, one jogger, and one bike. Dedication!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


At 9 am, it is 64.6 degrees and rising
68% humidity and steady
30.03 inches of mercury and steady
The stream is at 4.2 inches
It's weather that feels a bit more like September than July, one might say.
We've had no rain recently (next rain looks like Thursday night).
There's been a bit of traffic on the trail, some dogs, some bikes.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


We just saw the first campers of the season. I didn't catch where they were from: mostly girls, in a van. On seeing me outside, one of them asked, "Do you live here?" When I said I did, she asked, with horror, "Isn't it scary?"
Umm, no, not really. But there's a girl who needs some more time outside!

At 9 am, it was 56.8 degrees and falling (that's unusual)
88% humidity and steady
30.15 inches of mercury and steady
No rain last night (!)
Cascades are still running nicely.

And for those of you who are wondering? The fire danger is LOW.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

International Space Station overhead

And for those of you who share our NASA fascination, there a log here of when you can spot the International Space Station overhead. If you're up at 3am and it isn't pelting rain, looks like you could get a good view!

Thunder in the distance

We hope you enjoyed the two days of sun there, because it appears that we're back in the rainy weather pattern. The stream is running at 5 inches, and, with this weather, it won't be going down anytime soon! The good news is that we're having an unprecedented (in our experience) number of days with the Cascades running, so if you haven't come over and seen them running (and running through the green!), come by!

at 8 am, it is 61 degrees and steady
95% humidity and steady
29.74 inches of mercury and steady
0.04 inches of rain this morning (it was clear most of the night)

If you're finding erosion issues out on the trail, do let us know!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Redspot purple!

I found it!
It took some doing (hey, butterfly people, some of us can't start with the Latin names!), but I found out what we had here today: two redspot purples (Limenitis arthemis astyanax).

This isn't my photo (we weren't that fast) but it gives you an idea.
And for future reference, the site I found most helpful was Discover Life.


We'd almost forgotten what it was like around here with the sun out! This morning we made the acquaintance of two toads and two butterflies (looking the butterflies up; they were black!).

At 10 am, it is 66 degrees and rising
98% humidity and steady
29.80 inches of mercury and steady

Yesterday we had a total of 1.69 inches of rain, but we've had no measurable rain since midnight.
The Cascades and the brook are lovely right now (and LOUD); check them out, as, yes, more rain is coming!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Lots and Lots of Rain!

Welcome to WaterWorld!

The Brook is at 8.8" and surging to 9" deep.
The second channel is open and running strong.
The Cascades are flowing with spots of white water.

Yesterday it rained 1.21", which in an of itself is alot,
BUT since midnight it has rained another 1.65"!
2.86" by 9:30 a.m. with more rain predicted for today!

LOTS of rain!

But what of that?
We seem to have settled back into an Atlantic NorthEast Temperate Rainforest mode of weather, much as we had last summer, but is this really far off the mark for historical norms?

Not so much, believe it or not!

As of midnight last night we were 1.24" below normal for the year.
Obviously we made up for that and stretched past it,
but with all the rain we have been having, we aren't in record territory for anything other than an absence of sun, and perhaps consistency of rain, and perpetually high humidity.

The weather as of 9:21 a.m.:
58.3 degrees F and steady;
98% humidity and steady;
29.80" of mercury and steady.


The Lodge lacks a dryer, and we rely on the sun for our drying, typically,
but we have been feeling the weather acutely, being reliant on the sun,
and exporting clothes for drying when possible.
Yesterday we lit a fire in the fieldstone fireplace to dry out camping gear from this past weekend in the rafters.
Things have been cool enough, damp enough, and dark enough where an indoor fire on July 1st was welcome indeed!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


61.0 degrees F and steady
98 % humidity and steady
29.77 and steady
0.98 for the rain
at 9:30

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A cool day at the Lodge

Today started with measurements taken at 9:10 a.m.

63.9 degrees F and steady,
98% humidity and steady,
29.59" of mercury and steady,

Presently as the day closes out at 8:00 p.m. we are seeing:

67.3 degrees F and steady,
91% humidity and steady,
29.65" of mercury and steady.

Rain held off, items out on the line dried, a few of them anyway, and there was filtered sun.

Last night was raucous here!
Out by the brush pile to our south on adjacent land there were snarls, cries, hisses, calls, and yelps. Best as we can tell there was a wild animal face-off complete with a cornered animal and predator. Not entirely clear how it ended up, but it sure was noisy!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Long week posting...sorry!
But, for the record, the stream is currently back up to five inches, and the Cascades are in a rare June rush...worth seeing!

Be gentle to the trails if you're out in this weather, and please keep the bikes at home for now.

Monday, June 22, 2009

windy ,stormy

At 9am
Temperature 60.1 degrees F and steady
Humidity 98% and steady
Inches of Mercury 29.59 and steady
Rain 0.04 inches since midnight
Stream Level 4+111
Time 9:45

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Traffic on the trail

It's a busy morning at the Cascades trailhead; it looks like everyone is quickly getting out while the skies are relatively clear. Enjoy it while it lasts, as the next storm looks like a doozy.

And not to blow our own horn or anything, but we did get a nice mention in yesterday's 508 by Mike and Brendan.
We've had some trouble posting the past day or so, but we're hoping it's straightened out.

At 9:30 it is 66 degrees and rising.
95% humidity and steady (which is all that rain sitting under the trees)
Barometer is 29.64 inches and steady
Currently it is not raining, 'though I wouldn't say the sun's out, either.
Last night (after midnight) we got no measurable rain, nor was there enough to measure yesterday (hmm...I find that hard to believe. We may need to go back to low-tech on that.) Thursday's total was 0.67 inches.
The stream is up to 4.6 inches.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Trail report in today

We just had a visit from one of our intrepid summer interns who was out on the trails checking things over. Aside from a sudden trash appearance at the north end of the Cascades trail (any chance you guys down the street to get to that?) and the omnipresence of...evidence of dogs, things look pretty good. We have not yet gotten to the River Trail; we're planning a work project on that.

At 9 am, it is 56.3 degrees and steady
97% humidity and steady
30.03 inches of mercury and steady

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

sun today

At 9 am, it is 59.4 degrees and rising
69% humidity and falling
30.21 inches of mercury and steady

The brook stands at 3.6 inches this morning
Surprisingly slow on the trail this morning...what are you all waiting for?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


At 8 am, it is 54.5 degrees and steady
97% humidity and steady
30.18 inches of rising
And the brook is 55.9 degrees and steady, 4 inches deep

The top of the hill is 51.6 degrees and steady
97% humidity
28.88 inches and steady

As of 2:30, we've got clearing skies, which should dry things up a bit on the trails.

Monday, June 15, 2009


We had a visit from a large snapping turtle on Friday. She (we think?) came up the driveway and hung out there for awhile before heading off into the woods.
By our measure, her shell was about 11 inches long and 8 inches across: a BIG turtle!


It's another rainy day out there today. Yesterday we had a total of 1.26 inches. Saturday was mostly clear, but Friday's total was 0.94 inches.
So it isn't surprising that the stream level is up to 4.6 inches this morning!

At 9 am, it is 57.0 degrees and steady
98% humidity with drizzle in the air
Barometer is at 30.03 inches of mercury

Friday, June 12, 2009

LOTS of rain!

I don't know if you heard it coming down last night, but we got plenty of rain last night: 0.55 inches yesterday, and 0.94 inches today since midnight! All of which has bumped the stream level up to 5.2 inches--quite a jump since yesterday!

At 9 am, it is 57 degrees and steady
98% humidity and steady; misting
29.62 inches of mercury and steady under cloudy skies

Not much traffic on the trails today!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Saturday morning trail work

GWLT and our summer interns will be tackling trail work in and around the Cascades parkland. If you have time and interest in helping, we're starting this Saturday morning, 9 am, in the Boyton Park parking lot.
Help us recover from the ice storm, deal with ATV damage, and spruce up the trails.

We'll also be doing it 6/20, 6/27, and 7/11. Help wanted!


(that's us, by the way. Sorry for the holes here!)
This morning's readings are:
56.3 degrees and steady
94% humidity and steady
29.91 inches and steady
under cloudy skies

The stream is up a bit to 2.2 inches
Water temperature is steady at 55 degrees

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


We were lax in our observations this morning, so I'll give you what I have:
the high of the last 24 hours: 80 degrees and 94% humidity
the low of the last 24 hours: 54 degrees and 32% humidity

The stream temperature is down to 56. We haven't checked the level since the rain started; we will check later today. So far today we've received 0.16 inches.

At 11 am, the temperature is 55.4 degrees and steady
93% humidity with rain falling from the sky
The barometer is at 29.94 inches of mercury

It looks as though the neighborhood ATVs have decided to give it another go off of the Holden Trail. Yes, this is illegal. If you see it, let us know.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Identifying all that green stuff

Courtesy of Martha Gach from Mass Audubon comes this poem on identifying the green stuff in meadows:
Sedges have edges
Rushes are round
Grasses have joints
all the way to the ground

The three things that grow in meadows are sedges, rushes, and grasses.

At 8 am, it is 58.1 degrees and steady
67% humidity and steady
29.94 inches of mercury
The stream is WAY down to 1.8 inches
57 degrees and steady in the water

Friday, June 05, 2009

Honey Locusts in bloom

If you head up the Cascades trail from Olean Street, you'll smell something sweet in bloom.
You can't see them, but, high up in the canopy, the honey locusts are in bloom.
(You can also see them on some downtown Worcester streets, as Worcester has planted them as street trees in some neighborhoods.)


Up the hill > at 8:09 am the temperature is 58.1 degrees F and rising
the humidity is 54% and falling
the pressure is 28.73

Here at the Lodge > 57.1 degrees F and rising
85% humidity and steady
the pressure is 29.94

the stream is 56.3 degrees F and steady
it's at 2.2 inches

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Typed to the accompaniment of a singing cardinal

He's really singing his heart out there!
We've got some interns out on the trail this afternoon, doing some surveying of trail conditions. We will post what they find!

At 8 am, at the Lodge it was:
58.5 degrees and rising
77% humidity and steady
29.94 inches of mercury and steady

The stream stands at 2.4 inches and is 55.6 degrees and steady

The high for the past 24 hours is 77 degrees and 81% humidity
The low is 53.2 degrees and 38% humidity

At Cascades West at 8am:
57.6 degrees and rising
50% humidity and falling
28.70 inches of mercury and steady

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Weather Reporting Overdrive!

Here at the Lodge we have been playing with the weather monitoring setup and have a ton of good stuff for our daily reports.

The Cascades Brook at 9 a.m.:
Depth 2.8"
Temperature 55.2 degrees F (NEW!)

The Weather at the Lodge at 8:20 a.m.:
60.6 degrees F and steady;
77% humidity and steady;
29.88" of mercury and steady.
yesterday's highs: 65.1 degrees F / 88% humidity (NEW!)
yesterday's lows: 53.6 degrees F / 37% humidity (NEW!)

The Weather at Cascades West at 8:20 a.m.:
61.0 degrees F and steady;
52% humidity and steady;
28.67" of mercury and steady.
(Now back up for the summer season!)

A beautiful day out there!
Get on out there and hike!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Another nice one

Another nice day
At 9 am, it is 51.1 degrees and rising
Humidity is 49% and falling
30.00 inches of mercury under clear blue skies
The stream level is back down to 3 inches

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hail forecasted

(not making this up)
The National Weather Service is predicting thunderstorms and a chance of hail this afternoon; you might want to get out there now (like the biker that just went by!).

At 10 am (sorry: sick kid, late morning)
It is 66.7 degrees and rising
50% humidity and falling
Barometer is at 29.68 and steady

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rained Overnight!

Up on the hill the conditions are: 65.1 degrees F and rising Temperature
98% humidity and steady
28.44 and steady Inches of Mercury and steady

At the Lodge the conditions are : 58.8 and steady degrees F Temperature
98 % humidity and steady
29.59 inches of mercury and steady
Since midnight we've had 0.08 inches of rain
Yesterday we had a total of 0.24 inches of rain

At 8 am this morning

We are expecting a nice day!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Rainy day

At 9 am, it is 49 degrees F and steady
98% humidity and steady
29.71 inches of mercury and steady
We've had 0.12 inches of rain since midnight (yesterday's rain never rose to measurable levels)
The stream is steady at 3.4 inches

The interns are soggily setting themselves up for the summer.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


We got a total of 0.31 inches of rain yesterday; 'though we've had no measurable rain since midnight, yesterday's total was enough to raise the stream to 3.4 inches.
At 9 am, it is 48 degrees F and steady
98% humidity and steady; mist in the air
The barometer is at 29.91 inches of mercury and steady
The skies are overcast

It isn't clear if if the runner that just went through was running to keep up with his dogs or to keep warm!
The interns were here for their second night;we're hoping they were warmer last night than the night before! They'll be moving off to their summer (undisclosed) location tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


The storms came in last night, adding up to 0.28 inches of rain since midnight
The stream has correspondingly gone up to 3.2 inches; we expect some real gain there in the next 24 hours.
It is 46 degrees F and steady
95% humidity and steady whilst raining
30.06 inches of mercury and rising (? I kid you not)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Enjoy it while it lasts!

Rain coming in later this week--yes, just in time for our interns to move into their tents for the summer--so get out into the sun while we have it!
At 9 am, it is 51.3 degrees and steady
48% humidity and steady
30.24 inches of mercury and steady
Clear blue skies
Despite the weekend rain, the stream is down to 3 inches. Summertime!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fire on the hill

Worry not; it's been taken care of!
This morning started off with some hikers coming to the Lodge to report a smoldering fire on the edge of the Newton Trail (on the way up the hill), accompanied by two cases worth of beer bottles. Fire rake in hand, Colin headed up to deal with it, and he raked it out. We're also now $1.50 the richer in bottle refunds! Seems somebody had a party last night and was more than careless upon leaving .
Thanks, Katy and Iris!
If any of you up on Cataract see cars by the Newton Trailhead, 'though, call it in. Looks like we might have a new party spot, with people who are clueless about fire danger.

At 9 am, it is 69 degrees and rising
41% humidity and steady
30.03 inches of mercury and steady
The brook is down to 3.6 inches
We had some technical difficulties earlier; thus the late posting.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Busy place!

The new batch of summer interns for Cascades West are here today for their orientation. More about them to come!
We've also got a Worcester State College class meeting here; they're doing a survey of ice damage in the city (they were at God's Acre yesterday, and they're in Cascades Park and Cascades West today).
Will is here (it's his last week) working on signage.
And the DPW trucks are on the street, so we're making one last scramble to get branches out to the street. We've got plenty of downfall that we're just leaving in the forest--it is part of nature, after all--but we do need the trails and the cleared part of the property free of branches. We had a maple lose a limb in yesterday's wind that had been partly broken over the winter. It's still coming down!

At 9 am, it is 68.7 degrees and rising
44% humidity and falling
30.18 inches of mercury and steady under sunny skies
The brook remains at 4 inches even

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lovely day

It is a lovely day out today: sunny, clear, warm, light breeze. It's finally starting to make winter seem far away. Having those DPW signs notifying us of brush collection finally go up doesn't hurt, either!
At 9 am, it is 60.6 degrees and rising
The humidity is 49% and falling
Barometer stands at 30.30 inches of mercury and steady
The stream is starting its summer fall: it's down to 4 inches even. It is (like most New England brooks) a seasonal stream, so much of it goes dry for the summer.

On Monday it was 47.7 degrees and steady
58% humidity and steady
30.15 inches of mercury and steady
And the brook was at 4.4 inches

Sorry for the gap

Sorry that we haven't posted this week; today's front page of the local section tells you where our heads have been lately.
I believe we have a posting to go up for Monday, and we'll be sure to get one for today.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Fabulous Day!

9:17 am, and it is magnificent out there.
Hikers have already been through.

61.8 degrees F and rising;
64% humidity and steady;
30.12" of mercury and steady;
no recorded rainfall yesterday;
sunny with a gentle breeze.

Chance of thunderstorms tonight.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Like a rainforest

The humidity this morning is up to 96% (quite a change from earlier in the week); be glad it isn't warmer!
That will take the fire danger right down.
At 9 am it is 58.3 degrees and rising
Barometer stands at 30.21
We have received no measurable rain since midnight; yesterday's total was 0.08 inches.
The Cascades Brook stream measurement is at 5.0" today.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rainy and gusty (CORRECTED)

Every so often a small front goes through and the wind kicks up dramatically. There's a line of rain squalls coming through today. It doesn't look like anything serious, but it's raising the humidity, and if you're out on a hike, there's a good chance that you'll get damp!

The sign work continues, as Will has a post entirely squared off as of today!

At 9 am, it is 56.5 degrees and rising.
55% humidity and falling (at 9, it was not raining; at 2 pm, it's back up to 83%)
30.30 inches of mercury and steady
The stream stands at 4.8 inches
Fire danger is MODERATE

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Clouds moving through

One minute it looks like rain; the next, it's sunny.

At 9 am, it is already 60.8 degrees and rising
48% humidity and falling
30.30 inches of mercury and steady under mostly clear skies
The stream is still flowing with 4.8 inches of water.

Right now, the black flies have largely subsided, and it's a bit early for mosquitoes, so you're in between bug seasons. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spring visitors

I think we failed to mention that when we awoke on Sunday (at 6 am; Mothers' Day comes early around here!), we found a groundhog happily nibbling away at the plants around the house (nothing we planted). He was a bit disgruntled at being disturbed from his breakfast, and he waddled away under the house.

At 9 am, it is 54 degrees and rising
51% humidity and falling
30.03 inches of mercury under clear skies
The brook is steady at 5 inches

I'm not clear on where the rain forecast for today went, but it does look clear all down the coast.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Clear skies

Lovely right now!
At 9 am, it is 51.3 degrees and rising
55% humidity and falling
29.34 inches of mercury and steady under clear blue skies
Light breeze
Stream level is 5 inches

Hikers moving through steadily. Our Dynamy intern Will has one sign pole nearly squared off in the driveway. We had to re-rig his tent this morning, as yesterday's strong winds took it out!

Friday, May 08, 2009

A Fond Goodbye to the SCA Trails Crew!

Today ends five days of intensive trail work by the intrepid SCA crew (shown here with their fashionable GWLT tin camping cups). They were cutting access for hikers between the Trust's Brigham Road parcel and the City of Worcester's Conservation Commission "Cook's Woods" property.

Most nights it rained. Most days it did not. Overall it was very wet.

They tented out here in the great City of Worcester at Cascading Waters.
They cooked over camp stoves.
They removed numerous ticks.
They moved rock, chain-sawed trees, and setup erosion controls.

They were excellent workers and perfect guests.

They will be missed.

Today's weather has been fabulous.

As of this morning at 9:00 a.m. the weather was:
61 degrees F and rising;
81% humidity and falling;
29.77" of mercury and steady;
the Cascades Brook was at 6";
yesterday's rainfall was 0.98"!

Presently at 4:10 pm it is:
72.5 degrees F and falling;
44% humidity and steady;
29.71" of mercury and steady;
the sun is out and there is a light breeze.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Sunny again, but rain is coming back!

The SCA Trails crew is out blazing in the sun, which is a whole lot more pleasant than yesterday's conditions.

The Dynamy Signage Intern is chopping away doing timber shaping.

The conditions as of 9:20 am were:
48 degrees F and steady;
96% humidity and steady;
30.00" of mercury and steady;
0.31" of rain yesterday;
5" of flow in the Cascades Brook;
the sky is trying to clear and the apple trees are in bloom.

The rain is great for the trees we planted a week ago. Hopefully they made it through the drought to enjoy it.

Presently it is 1:30 pm and the conditions are:

63.9 degrees F and steady;
67% humidity and falling;
29.97" of mercury and steady;
and sunny! with a light breeze.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


After a long day's work (they didn't come back until nearly dark), the SCA gang slept well in their tents and were out for another day's trail clearing before 8:30 this morning!
At 9 am, it is 52 degrees and steady
85% humidity and just starting to rain.
As of 9, we had not gotten enough rain to measure. At 2pm, we've gotten 0.08 inches.
The stream remains at 4.4 inches.
Barometer is at 30.12 and steady.
The current storm is moving offshore.

We've had an enormous amount of leaves come out over the past few days. The forest is really filling in!
Yesterday afternoon, we planted two forsythia bushes, one red maple (I know, I know! but it came free from the Arbor Day Foundation!), and ten mountain laurel. The laurel is down by the street. We're hopeful!

Monday, May 04, 2009

SCA Trails Crew on the way

9:35 a.m. weather and conditions:

57.9 degrees F and rising;
30.00" of mercury and steady;
73% humidity and falling;
overcast, light breeze, partial sun.

Presently we are awaiting the arrival of the SCA Trails crew who will be living at Cascading Waters for the week doing trails work in NW Worcester and SW Holden. Good work should ensue, though the forecast for the week is not in their favor with on and off rain all week long.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Cool, cloudy, overall pleasant

This morning it has been cooler, cloudy, and overall pleasant.

As of 12:03 p.m. the weather is:
63.5 degrees F and rising;
42% humidity and steady;
29.77" of mercury and steady.

This morning saw two teams from the Greater Worcester Land Trust out doing Earth Day Cleanups. One was over at Crow Hill and the other was over at Bovenzi conservation Park.

A nice day to cleanup the woods of old debris from past generations and set things aright for the next.

Friday, May 01, 2009


We can't tell if the rain gauge is broken or the rain has been too light to measure, but we've definitely had some rain, and we definitely don't have a measurement. We may need to go back to an old-fashioned, non-digital version for the summer.

The mist hasn't stopped the hikers--looks like a grandfather, father, and son--who just came up the trail during lunchtime.

At 9 am it is 59.4 degrees and steady
92% humidity and steady with mist in the air
29.83 inches of mercury and falling
The stream is a bit up to 4.6 inches
We're expecting rain on and off during the day today, possibly with some thunderstorms.

As we were coming home just before lunch, we scared a woodchuck who'd been hanging out somewhere in the yard at the Lodge. He skittered across the driveway, and then he stopped to take a look at us. Not the big guy we've seen before, either.

Yesterday, we had a total of three yellow-shafted flickers in the backyard. They're a member of the woodpecker family, a good size bird (the size of a blue jay), big enough to make you wonder what they are. Their relationship with the woodpecker isn't apparent until you see them on a tree, where they hop up the truck like any other woodpecker.

And we had a good turnout yesterday for platform moving, so if you're on the trail this weekend, you'll see that the big canvas tent is up behind the Lodge. We're having a work crew in next week; they bring their own sleeping tents, but we're providing ours for eating and such.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Red flag still up

The red flag warning (see below) is still posted. The only hope of escaping that is for the rain that is forecasted for this evening to amount to something.

At 9 am, it is 58.3 degrees and rising
38% humidity and steady
30.36 inches of mercury
Stream stands at 4.4 inches

We really could use some help tonight with the tent platform if you're free!


At 5:30 this evening, we're going to be moving the tent platform at Cascading Waters--not far, we hasten to add! Just back into the woods. We've got a work crew coming next week who are going to be using it.
There's PIZZA (of course) for those who come.

Please email Anne at if you can come. The more hands, the easier it will be!
Thank you!

Another Red Flag Fire Warning




Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hikers hiking

Two hikers are coming down the trail as I type this. Nice day out there...unlike the past few, it isn't so hot that you can't stand the idea of moving.
At 9 am, it is 53.2 degrees and rising
39% humidity and steady
Barometer is at 30.39 and rising (very high)
The stream is down to 4.4 inches
The fire danger is high. You may have caught the front page article in today's T&G about the danger of fire. It has been a very dry and warm spring with an early snowmelt. We are not usually having red flag dangers this early in the season, and unless things turn wet, it could be a dangerous summer.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Red Flags, Purple Trilium, and Seedlings

First, as to the Red Flag Fire Danger:


Out walking the bound lines of Cascading Waters and watering the seedlings planted on Saturday. And the wicked low humidity, high temperatures, and breeze to high winds mean that the seedlings are in a tough spot to keep their moisture and properly establish themselves. Yesterday the Bovenzi Consv. Park seedlings were watered, and if time permits they will be again today.

On the good side, all sorts of things are in bloom! In addition to the Trout Lily, which are quite abundant, there is also some purple trilium coming into bloom. These warm temperatures have put the trees into overdrive and the leafing out over the course of the last 24 hours has been dramatic. The forest is once again green, almost overnight. Pretty wild stuff.

On the negative side there was at least a trashbag's worth of litter collected from the abutters on the north bound line before I ran out of room. It is less than last year. No real litter on the abutters to the south line this year. All in all incremental progress.

Lovely Weather

76.8 and rising degrees F
41 and steady % Humidity
30.06 and steady inches of mercury
0.00 for the Rain
4+11 for the Stream Level
At 9:00
RED FLAG FIRE DANGER it might go as high as 90!

Frog in the brook

Monday, April 27,2009
62.2 degrees F and rising
49 % humidity and falling
30.30 inches of mercury and steady
0.00 for the rain
and the stream is at 5
I saw a green and brown frog in the brook by the little falls!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

More Beautiful Weather

Presently it is sunny, blue skies, decent breeze, and as yet still cool.

The 9:02 a.m. weather conditions are:
74.8 degress F and rising;
51% humidity and falling;
30.09" of mercury and rising;
no reportable precipitation yesterday;
no USFS Fire Danger Status is available.

Last night the Lodge was still full of the day's heat even as outside cooled off, so up into the crawlspace for the screens and this morning was the sound of breeze, birds, and running water in the Cascades Brook. What a great start to the day.

Lots of hikers yesterday, and we expect more of the same today.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

So at one point today in the Lodge we looked over at the weather station and it read "91° F" and our immediate inclination was that something was amiss. Maybe the sun was directly on the remote sensor, or......


It really was that warm today, and not just here but across the north-east.

If it can get to 91° F in April, what can it do in July and August?

Trout Lily in Bloom

Spring is moving on here at Cascading Waters, and the trout lilies (above, from the north side of the stream, taken this morning) are now in bloom. They're easy to spot this time of year, with the bright yellow flowers standing out against the dry leaves of last year. The rest of the year, you can find them by the mottled leaves that give them their name.
The bloodwort have largely stopped blooming now and have only their shamrock-shaped leaves out.

Treees, trees, trees!

Today was tree planting day for the Trust!

At Cascading Waters the WPI fraternity ΑΧΡ (Alpha-Chi-Rho) planted trees along the north and south bound lines.
They planted a mix of:
  • 25 Eastern Red Cedar (good in wetter soils);
  • 10 American Red Pine;
  • 5 Eastern White Pine;
for a total of 40 trees.

Meanwhile, across town, at Bovenzi Conservation Park (in the Sunrise Ave section) the Bates Alumni Club of Central Mass. planted trees.
They planted a mix of:
  • 25 Balsam Fir;
  • 10 American Red Pine;
  • 5 White Spruce
for a total of 40 trees.

Both groups started at 9 a.m. and finished at 11 a.m.
80 trees were planted in Worcester on the kick-off of the Worcester Tree Initiative planted by the Greater Worcester Land Trust on Trust lands thanks to the academic volunteers! Thank you so much!

All the trees, save the 5 White Spruce, are native to Central Massachusetts and they are all non-ALB host species. The White Spruce were a free-bee we didn't ask for and managed to get into the ground when no one was paying attention. Sneaky trees.

And now for the glorious weather!
Warm! Sunny! Gentle Breeze! Idyllic!
Presently at 12:45 p.m. it is 83.1 degrees F, and 31% humidity.

As of 9 a.m. the weather was:
66.6 degrees F and rising;
49% humidity and steady;
30.12" of mercury and steady;
no rainfall yesterday;
the USFS fire danger server is still down.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Windy, sunny

Presently the conditions as of 9:12 a.m.:
Sunny, passing clouds, windy;
47.5 degrees F and steady;
64% humidity and falling;
29.65" of mercury and rising;
USFS Fire Danger Class is hard to get out of them. (Their server service was supposed to be completed by the 21st);
Yesterday's (Wed.) rainfall was 0.16"
The Cascades Brook is at 6" even.

Yesterday's conditions as of 9 a.m. were:
55.8 degrees F and rising;
81% humidity;
29.65" of mercury and steady; and
the total rainfall from Tuesday was 0.98" (Quite a lot! for one day)
The secondary stream channel was running.

A series of observations on the brook proper and the secondary stream channel.
The instances of the secondary channel running are increasing, and the size of the storm it takes to get flow in the channel is decreasing. The stone walled edge of the primary channel appears to be breaking down a little bit in its effectiveness.
In addition, as you stand on the Cataract Street Bridge and look east the fairly straight channelized segment is seemingly less straightforward with low to moderate flow. The whole of the channel is still straight, but the stream is taking a less than linear path along the bottom of the channel. High flow and it is definitely straight, but in less than high conditions you begin to wonder when the channel will erode a little here and build up a little there.
It would seem, at least anecdotaly, that the stream is beginning to reassert itself on the Cascading Waters site. We have no problems with this. No public safety is involved, no structures are threatened, and the bridges continue to function admirably. It is kind of nice to know that the Cascades Brook wants to run wild, and that it is more in a position to do so unchecked than it has in decades.