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.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Stream Gauge is Free of Ice!

As of 11:30 a.m. we have managed to free the stream gauge on the Cascades Brook of the accumulated ice buildup.

Presently it is registering 8.0" of flow.

The Cascades are running.

The 11:30 a.m. conditions are:

35.6 degrees F and steady;
52% humidity and steady;
30.09" of mercury and rising.

Oh, and a safety note:
The packed snow of the trail has turned to ice, and this makes segments of trail quite treacherous. Good gripping boots are in order today.

Weather's Comin'

9:00 a.m. here at the Lodge.

We go from bright and beautiful sun, to overcast and cool, all in a moments shift.
Presently we are in a sun moment.

The temperature is 34 degrees F and steady;
The humidity is 73% and steady;
The barometric pressure is 30.00 and rising;
Both the primary and secondary stream channels are running;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MEDIUM;
There is a substantial breeze;
The trails are wet and soft, please be mindful of this.

It is a good day for maple sap running, and we will let you know what we manage to pull.
The buckets we hung at Nick's Woods have thus far been quite modest in their yield.

A storm is heading up the eastern seaboard and is over the Carolinas.
The neighbors are all talking snow as they do gardening in this brief moment of spring.
(Already at 9:27 it is now up to 35.8 degrees F and rising, so warmth is the word of the day!)


Friday, February 27, 2009

GWLT rolls on...

Today we are pleased to announce that approximately 20 acres of land off of Moreland Street is permanently preserved! This was a partnership with the City of Worcester with a State EOEEA LAND grant.

The land is now held by the Worcester Conservation Commission, and the development rights, through a Conservation Restriction, are held by the Greater Worcester Land Trust.

We will be working on some sign for public access over the course of this spring.

Truly cool, as this is a part of town with very little undeveloped land left!

Double post

Sorry; we're keeping records, but we aren't getting them up!

34 degrees and rising
70% humidity and rising
30.21 inches of mercury and steady at 9 am
Cold with little wind
We saw our first mountain biker in quite some time today!

FRIDAY, 2/27:
At 9:42 it was 42 degrees and steady (though we did see it reach nearly 50 here today!)
98% humidity and steady (that was without any rain, which started much later in the day)
30.00 inches of mercury and falling (storm out in the Ohio River Valley)
Overcast skies and quite a bit of wind, increasing over the course of the day.
Fire danger is LOW

As of 8:30 it is 48 degrees and steady
96 % humidity and rising
Barometer stands at 29.80 and steady
Rain started around 7:30 here and so far we have 0.04 inches
If it stays this warm, we should be able to get a stream reading over the weekend.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sap is running

GWLT staff are out at Nick's Woods this afternoon with some Bancroft middle schoolers, setting up a maple sugaring operation. We'll be working on sugaring for the next few weeks; if you have any interest, get in touch with

Clear but chilly out there this morning
At 10 am, it is 27 degrees and steady
50% humidity and steady
30.33 inches of mercury and steady
We'll be working on it, but the stream gauge remains frozen for now.
Fire danger is up to MEDIUM (note the relatively low humidity)

Monday, February 23, 2009

This may cut down on the squirrel population

All morning we've been hearing the hawk outside, shrieking. We'd wondered what had gotten into him.
Might it be love?

We just saw not one, but two hawks fly into the evergreen on the property line to the south, down by the road. The hawks have returned and might just be setting up housekeeping locally. We'll keep you posted!

At 9 am it is 29 degrees and rising
61% humidity and steady
29.68 inches of mercury and steady under sunny skies
Fire danger is NONE
There's a LOT of wind out there.
The stream gauge has refrozen.
Yesterday we had a total of 0.39 inches of rain (which doesn't include the snow that fell in the middle).

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Clear, Sunny, and Breezy

As of 9:30 am the conditions here at the Lodge are...

32.9 degrees F and rising;
51% humidity and steady;
29.94" of Mercury and rising;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW;
Skies are clear blue with no clouds;
There is a persistent breeze, and occasional strong gusts.

In essence it is fabulous outside.
Expect melting, and muddy trail conditions as the day progresses.

Friday, February 20, 2009


...just a bit in the air at the moment.

We came home from our round of errands this morning to disturb a hawk. He was perched on the north side of the driveway, and came flying, low, across the driveway and over to the southern bound. He (she? don't know) has been around quite a bit lately. I've consequently felt leery of filling the birdfeeders.

At 3 pm (sorry for the late post) it is 27 degrees and steady under overcast skies
52% humidity and steady
Barometer is at 29.44 and steady
Fire danger remains LOW
And we have yet to break the new ice off of the stream gauge.

The ground is a curious mixture of bare, drifted snow, crunchy ice covered by drifted snow, and ice. You won't have to slog on the trails, but it isn't easy going either.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Snow melting

And as soon as it fell, it began melting.

The snow was wonderful falling last night and leaving a 2-3" layer on everything.
Somewhere in the middle of the night the sound of falling water joined the nightly chorus of sounds.

Presently there is enough snow to make an 8" snowman, and it being a school vacation week, so it is.

The current conditions here at the Lodge at 10:23 a.m. are:
38.7 degrees and steady.
91% humidity and falling.
29.23" of mercury and steady.
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.
There is a gentle breeze, the sky is bright and overcast.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bring in your wood

We're pulling in more firewood now, as that nor'easter is coming up the coast!

At 9 am, it is 33 degrees and rising
54% humidity and steady
Barometer stands at 29.94 inches of mercury and steady
Cloudy skies
Fire danger has now moved up to MEDIUM

This morning we had a woman come out from the state to walk the property under consideration for state grant funds. We were joined by representatives of the White Oak Land Trust and the West Boylston Land Trust, as the 53 acres of KinneyWood, should the money come through and the project move forward, will connect property in four towns.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Rains are finished

Not that we saw much rain, but, they are now finished.

For the next 5 days the National Weather Service is saying we will have clear, windy, dry.
We certainly haven't gotten to the clear part yet.

The snows are receding everywhere.
Bare ground is poking through near tree bases, storm debris, stone walls, and anywhere that was aggressively shoveled over the past 5 weeks of snow, ice, and cold.
It is a taste of spring.

Presently conditions at the Lodge at Cascading Waters are:
30.6 degrees F and steady;
29.62" of mercury and rising (indicating higher pressure and clearer weather);
52% humidity and falling (much drier than yesterday's dawn 98%!);
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW;
The skies are, overcast, there is wind with occasional gusts;
but overall it is bright out there.

Hikers have already been going through.

The brook is running with snow melt and the light rains from yesterday, so the stream flow is 6.8".

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Still warm...

We came home from our Clark University WaterWatch meeting to find some rain here; the first we've had in quite awhile. Last night we measured 0.16 inches here at the Lodge.

Hats off to the WaterWatchers who are using their time here in Worcester to look after the Blackstone Valley's water. We very much enjoyed their meeting (especially those maps of the Tatnuck watershed, which we're coveting); thank you for inviting us!

At 9 am, it is 47 degrees and rising; it remains to be seen if we'll break 50 again today
94% humidity and steady: between the rain, and the melting, and the dripping, there's lots of water in the air!
Barometer stands at 29.06 and falling
Fire danger is LOW

We have not gotten out to the stream yet today, 'though we expect it will be up again. Last night's rain and the continued warmth means that even more of the Cascades are visible through the snow again.

A report in this mornig that the Cascades trail is passible from one end to the other.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Just beautiful out there! Get outside, if only for a bit today.

At 9 am, it is 46 degrees and rising
81% humidity and falling
29.85 inches of mercury and steady
The stream stands at 4.2 inches
Fire danger is LOW
You can just catch a glimpse or two of flowing water up on the Cascades today.

We're heading out to Clark University's Water Watch this evening to talk about our stream and other GWLT streams in Worcester.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rain Coming

Starting this afternoon, and running through Thursday evening a line of storms will be passing through.

Look out there, and enjoy the sight of snows, as they are soon to depart.

Looks to be a good day to get out and walk around up until about 3 p.m. when the chance of rains comes in.

Presently it is overcast with a light breeze at the Lodge:
The temperature is 26.1 degrees F and rising;
The pressure is 30.24" and steady;
The humidity is 57% and falling;
The Cascades Brook is measuring 4.6";
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW (thankfully we are not like Victoria Australia on that count).

ALB infestation cutting is taking place today over at Bovenzi Conservation Park.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Brook is up!

As expected, this morning the brook is up to 4.8 (from 4 even yesterday). Lots of water coming down off the hill, 'though the Cascades remain snow covered, as does most of the brook.

We saw quite a bit of traffic yesterday (and thanks to any of you who, in driving in and out, made the parking area more passable. Stomach flu has felled much of the Lodge crew, so shoveling hasn't been high on the "to do" list.). Glad that everyone got out in the sunshine. It was lovely yesterday, and it looks as though we may be hitting the mid-40s again later this week!

At 2 pm, it is 42 degrees and still rising
Humidity stands at 42 and falling
Barometer is steady at 30.18 inches of mercury under sunny skies

Sunday, February 08, 2009


We kept most of the warmth overnight here (at 10 pm, it was still 39 degrees), so it's had no trouble in warming up this morning.

At 10 am, it is 47 degrees and rising
67% humidity and falling (that's water in the air from snow melting and sublimating (you do remember your chem terms, right?))
Barometer stands at 29.74 inches and steady under clear skies

We just saw what looked like a mother and daughter pair go up the trail with a purple saucer sled. Have fun! Trail conditions are bound to change pretty fast today, but do keep in mind that the snow will hang around in the woods a lot longer than in your front yard (well, your front yard. Not ours!)

Open some windows!

* * * * * * *

Also of note:
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Not quite as warm as predicted (it never broke 40 here), but we can see the ice on the roof melting, the snow pack subsiding, and the eves dripping. The big news on this is the stream gauge is MELTED!
The Cascades brook stands at 4.2 inches

At 4:30, it is 38.8 degrees and falling
Barometer stands at 30.00 inches and falling (but not very fast)
Humidity is at 52% and steady
There is, no surprise, NO fire danger.

There's been plenty of traffic on the trails today (including one junior ranger on new snowshoes).

Friday, February 06, 2009

Land Protection

Today was one of those days.

The die was cast, and we now await the outcome.

The White Oak Land Conservation Society, the Holden Conservation Commission, and the Greater Worcester Land Trust collaborated to submit a grant to expand the wildlife corridor and passive recreation corridor that make up the area stretching across Leicester, Paxton, Holden, and Worcester's NW corner.

This specific effort focuses on a 53 acre area north of Cook's Pond.

It boasts upland harwood forest, wetlands, stream corridors, stone walls, trails, and a proximity to other open spaces.

Moose, bear, and deer have been seen there.

It also benefits from state designations as a BioCore Supporting Landscape, and contains a sliver of Zone B water supply land.

What is hard to remember, from time to time, is that it all comes down to a deadline at a particular time on a particular day in a 9th floor office in Boston to get the wheels turning on a large grant for acquisition.

Today was such a day.

3 p.m. was such a time.

The run to spend 12 minutes in Boston and return, not even yet hoping of what could be, but purely focused toner cartridges running out, required packages delayed, a need for toll money, and a fearful wonderment of what traffic might throw in the way with each passing bend.

And yet, despite every conceivable obstacle, and innumerable unknown ones, once again, we threw the die.

Light a candle kids.

Still frigid

Cold enough to make your hands start to freeze if you're out without gloves. Not recommended. But it does look like the weekend will be great! Maybe some of the ice will melt. Do know that, as always, if you're out and about on GWLT property this weekend, we'd love to hear what you find!

At 10 am, it is 17 degrees and rising
54% humidity and steady
Barometer is at 30.24 inches of mercury and steady under overcast skies
Fire danger is LOW

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Get out and move!

We took a short hike on the Holden Trail this morning. We ran into two dogs (and an owner) out for a hike in the sun, as well. It looks as though the Newton Trail has already seen plenty of traffic today (two and four footed) this morning. The woodpeckers were out (we only saw black-capped ones), as were sparrows. As long as you keep moving, you can stay fairly warm, 'though it make take awhile to feel your feet again!

At 9: 30 am (post hike) it is 21 degrees and rising
53% humidity and falling
Barometer is 29.8 inches of mercury and steady under bright clear skies
Fire danger is LOW
The brook continues to run under the snow, 'though it's only visible in spots.

The mourning doves are continuing to hang around. If anyone has any notions of why we're seeing them now, please weigh in. We'd love to know.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Nothing new

I'm really trying to come up with new ways of letting you know it's snowing, but I have to say that I'm running out. But there it is. Started around 10:30 here.
We had a flock of mourning doves come in this morning; there were ten or more of them. It looked as though they were getting some eating in before the storm came in. We occasionally will see a pair, but rarely in winter, and never so many at once. We also had a neighborhood cat wander through; the doves were quickly warned off the ground by a chattering squirrel, and they headed up. We had them around for much of the morning, however. We also saw a few of our white-throated sparrows this morning.

At 10 am, it is 31 degrees and steady
61% humidity and steady
29.71 inches of mercury and falling
Fire danger remains NONE
All here is snow covered, and it looks to remain so!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Phil weighs in

"Hear Ye Hear Ye,
On Gobbler's Knob this glorious Groundhog Day,
Feb. 2, 2009,
Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators ...
proclaimed that his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers were World Champions one more time,
and a bright sky above me,
showed my shadow beside me,
so six more weeks of winter it will be."

(and so far it looks like Phil's compatriots in weather forecasting are agreeing with his assessment.)
(UPDATE: Nope, it looks like the western New York Dunkirk Dave did NOT see his shadow. Dare we say that we think it's wishful thinking on Dave's part?)

But we all would have guessed that ourselves, wouldn't we?

The good news here is that it's another melting day! Heading over 40 again!

At 9am, it is 28 degrees and rising
89% humidity and steady (and dripping)
29.85 inches of humidity and steady
Fire danger is NONE

Sunday, February 01, 2009

A Good Melting Day

Lots of birds,
Fair number of hikers,
A snowshoer,
and temperatures that were downright balmy.

The highest we saw was 42, but we weren't watching it as carefully as the cardinal was watching the birdseed.

The 9:15 a.m. conditions were as follows:
22 degrees F and rising;
63% humidity and steady;
29.77" of Hg and rising;
the USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.

Yesterday a visitor to the Lodge got mired in the snow along the cart path up, but with the assist of gravity, a shovel, and some oomph, it was released from its imprisonment.

Trail update:
The Silver Spring Trail is in fine shape believe it or not!
The Meadow Ridge Trail is very tricky in spots with downed trees and hanging limbs though a number of workaround spurs are present.

Tonight we encountered the dastardly downdraft. Periodically cold air pours down off of the hill and makes it hard to get a fire going. That would be fine in and of itself, but it also makes it hard for the smoke to go UP the chimney, and that part is frustrating, if temporary. All is well at present, though it is something to keep an eye on on a night like this.