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.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sound and Fury

9:45pm check on conditions outside.

It varies from bare ground to 5" depending upon topography.
While the wind makes seriously howling noises the conditions outside while bundled up aren't bad at all.
Lots of sound, not so much fury.... as yet anyways.


Oh Yeah!


Like music to the ears...

So, the fun starts early with the shifting of the sun over its azimuth, and then it just doesn't stop!
2-4" daylight hours,
10-14" overnight,
2-4" tomorrow!

What's that? 14-22"? Oh Yeah!

Presently at 8:40 am we have 29.09" of Hg Pressure and steady;
it is 24 degrees F;
Heavily overcast skies;
an occasional frozen bit bites your lip in the sky as you walk around, but nothing observable;
The Cascades are frozen into a mass of ice;
The Cascades Brook is still flowing in the center of the channel, but the measuring device is in the frozen bank and unreadable;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE;
And we await the coming snow.

But as I write this flakes begin to fall!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Blizzard coming!

The National Weather Service has issued a BLIZZARD WARNING!








Thursday, December 23, 2010


At long last, a blanket of snow!
Sure, it is more like a half an inch, but it is snow and it is covering the ground, and with that Winter is truly here!

As of 9:07 a.m. the conditions are:
31 degrees;
28.79" of Hg pressure and steady;
USFS Fire Danger is NONE;
The Cascades are a frozen ice floe;
The Cascades Brook is still running with the banks and obstructions coated in ice;
and everything is finally coated in snow!

Also, due to your concerns, faithful Cascades folk, we have sent along a note to the Cook's Pond Association about the severely depressed pond level and the full throat-ed flow out of the dam.

Also, following up on a tip/complaint by some hikers yesterday morning we requested and received a police visit for some extremely dubious activity at the base of the Cascades. Rest assured, descriptions were taken, plates were copied and the car that scooted off had a cruiser following behind. Thanks for the assist in keeping the area in good shape and uninviting to mischief! We can't do it without you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cascades West makes the Globe!

Globe Mini Article

Well, Cascades West made the big time kids!

The Globe piece by Aaron Kagan is a brief vignette on the amphitheater at Cascades West.

It would also appear that GWLT folk are "Park Officials." Sounds pretty heavy!

Thanks for the piece to Aaron and the Globe!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


7:37 am

Blue skies, with a breeze that gusts,
24 degrees F,
28.88" of Hg pressure and rising,
The USFS Fire Danger Class is Moderate,
The Cascades Brook is at 3.8" of flow with some ice buildup on the edges.

In addition to all of this, the pile of construction debris in front of the Lodge was whisked away, and that puts things back in order after all the previous excitement.

For hikers out there, the ground is frozen HARD this morning and you can feel it when you walk. The bright sunshine and clear skies make up substantially for the cold and as long as you are well dressed and keep moving it is pleasant.

Saturday, December 04, 2010


Don't believe your thermometer!
34 degrees F
28.91 pressure
4.40 inches
Your thermometer may say something low, but the sun makes up for it!! Great day for a hike! There is a gentle breeze.
USFS Fire Danger is none.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bright Sunshine!

8:45 a.m.

Bright Sunshine!
The Cascades Brook is at 4.4" of flow (no icing as yet),
The skies are clear and blue and cloudless,
The temperature is 33 degrees F and rising,
No precipitation, though there was a frost and fun frost structures in the dirt and mud this morning,
It is very nearly breeze-less,
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE.

The weather is beautiful, especially for late fall/early winter. Soak it in.

There is much commotion to our south as the subdivision gets its lollipop cul de sac paved today. The street is reduced in width with parked vehicles for the job site, many trucks are coming and going, and there is no officer to direct traffic so be careful out there.

Spoke again with the DPW Customer Service folks about the illegal trash that appeared in early October, and was formally reported on October 12th. The trash wasn't examined for evidence, and the illegal dumping wasn't removed, yet somehow the file got closed out as having been finished. Well, we get a new confirmation number, an apology, and we hope for the best. The only dark positive in all of this is that the illegal dumper doesn't add new dumping until the old stuff is removed so we haven't had any new problems, just longstanding ones.

Also we pause today to remember Jeff Barnard of Wormtowntaxi who died yesterday. God bless Jeff.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sun, Wind, Little Warmth

Today saw sun!
There was a fair breeze for most of the day.
There wasn't, however, much warmth. It hovered around 40 degrees F for a lot of the day.
The Cascades Brook had previously been measuring 4.4" of flow, but probably was just a little lower.

There was some activity down here at Cascading Waters as we took down, brushed down, folded, and packed away the tent for the season.

Hikers, and a dog walker or two, passed through from time to time.

We are getting close to the first snow of the season and we are making every effort to be ready for when it comes. Remember, it is November 24th, and we have yet to have any snow of consequence. It will come. Soon.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sunny and cold (to start anyway)

8:20 a.m.

The Cascades Brook is at 4.6",
It is all blue skies and cloudless sky,
There is a light breeze,
The temperature is 37.5 degrees F.

It simply could not be a more wonderful start to a November Friday!

Fabulous work was done yesterday hewing logs, cutting notches in beams, and poly-urethaning signs here at the Lodge. It too was a simply wonderful November day to be outside!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Remember: it could be snow

It's not that unusual to have snow by the middle of November, so if you're not enjoying all this rain, remember: it could be snow.
The stream is up to 6.6 inches. While the Cascades aren't roaring, they are running fast. Expect the trails to be muddy at this point: the ground is fairly saturated, and it just can't soak in much more. And wet leaves are slippery!
At 9 am, it is 52 degrees and rising under gray skies.
The barometer is at 28.73 and falling.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Overcast, and Damp

7:30 a.m.

Well folks,
Here at the base of the Cascades we have:

Overcast skies,
No wind or breeze,
Occasionally spitting light rain,
no recordable rain amounts though,
44 degrees F,
with the Cascades Brook is at 4.2" (which is notable after a very dry summer and fall),
USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE.

Monday, November 08, 2010


Yes, we did indeed get some; it's sticking still in places under cover and under the trees. This wasn't your usual late fall dusting, either: this was some serious stuff. We also got some sleet last night, which was pretty noisy, and now it's switched entirely to rain. At 8:45 am, it is 38 degrees, so that will be it for exciting precipitation for today.
All of this, however, has the stream back up to a solid five inches (once you pull all the leaves away from the stream gauge). The Cascades are running!

All of which makes this afternoon's trail clearing work at God's Acre more urgent: WINTER IS COMING! If you can join us from 3-5pm today, we're meeting at Logan Field (yes, that means we've made progress). Loppers and bow saws welcome!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sign and Timber Work Thursday

It is time again for Sign and Timber Work at Cascading Waters! (135 Olean Street)

Plenty of logs to hew!  Come try the adz and see how GWLT signs are made!

Join us for a bit or stay the whole time.

This Thursday, October 21st from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Hope to see you there!


The weather is definitely heading toward winter this morning!
At nine am, it is just 44 degrees and rising.
Sunny skies.
The barometer is 29.15 and steady.
The stream is running at 3.2 inches (and COLD, speaking as one who cleared leaves away from the stream gauge!).
(And I hope you've all noticed that we updated the title for fall, as well!)

Monday, October 18, 2010


Nothing like a squirrel landing on the windowsill to give you brief heart failure.

Friday, October 15, 2010


We're having some rather changeable weather here as part of this nor'easter (for example, right this second, it is sunny outside). Rain is forecast for much of the day today.
Since midnight last night, we've gotten 0.98 inches of rain (with 0.08 inches yesterday). We'll be up over an inch before this is over.
(It could be could be 10 inches of snow!)
As of 9 am, the stream is running at 4.6 inches of water; the Cascades are running today!
It is 42 degrees and steady (and chilly).
We're showing 6.5 mph of wind currently (which is a LOT of wind for this valley!).

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

More rain

Just thought I'd update the rain: we're up to 1.46 inches as of 8 pm! That's for today.

Even wetter

Since midnight, we've gotten 0.35 inches of rain. That's on top of 0.04 inches yesterday, 0.08 inches the day before...should I continue? The stream is up to 3.6 inches and rising this morning, and I'm sure we'll see more water coming over the Cascades as this goes on.
At 10 am, it is 56 degrees and rising.
We're seeing some wind here: 1 mph now
We did have an intrepid father/daughter hiker set go through about 8:30, but otherwise, the trails are deserted.

As we're expecting clear weather tomorrow at 8:30 here at Cascading Waters, we'll be doing another round of sign and timber work. We'll be at it until 11:30, if you'd like to get some lumbering in!

Monday, October 04, 2010

More rain

We had more rain come in overnight. Added to that from the end of last week--we recorded 2.4 inches on Friday alone--we may well have a stream here for awhile. Fall generally is the rainy season in New England, and last week and this appear to be bearing that out.
We just managed at noon to struggle above 50 degrees--we're now hitting 54 at 2 pm--so it is chilly!
The barometer is at 29.38 inches and steady.
Cloudy (though not currently raining) skies
Needless to say, all the rain has knocked down leaves. We've got plenty of beech and hickory leaves down here. The maples are just starting to turn.

Saturday, October 02, 2010


We've got a sparkling fall day out there this morning! The remnants of Nicole have left us with a bit of a Cascades and stream, wet trails, and lots of leaves down. But it's clear and going to remain so.
At 9:30 am, it is 56 degrees and rising (but slowly).
The barometer is 29.12 and rising.
Light (not measurable) wind here under the cliff.

Friday, October 01, 2010


Although at 10 this morning, it was nothing but a rock channel you could walk without getting your shoes wet, by 12:30, we had 4.6 inches and RISING of water rushing downstream. The Cascades are BACK! (not impressive yet, but they're running!)
As a reminder: if you live nearly a storm drain, do us all a favor and got out with a rake and get the leaves off it. Olean Street had nearly as much water in it as the brook did before I cleared ours off. You'll get a bit wet, but you'll feel like a contributing citizen, so it's a good trade.
There continues to be a flood watch in effect.
In addition to all the WATER, it's 66 degrees. That's a drop-off from this morning, when it was in the mid-70's.
The barometer stands at  28.82 and steady ('though it's a drop from yesterday).
The National Weather Service is still saying that it will all be out of here by late tonight, and we should be in for a nice, clear weekend!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


We're getting the edges of what I believe has been downgraded to a tropical depression (still named Nancy). Gusts of up to 30 mph, periodic rain.
It's hovering right around 70 degrees
The barometer's at 29.29 and steady

While here under the cliff the wind is less (we're going up to 4 or 5 mph per gust), it's a lot of wind for where we are. If you're near a storm drain, pull out the leaves, as there's a flood watch in effect and those won't help!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Oh Yeah!

Report in from another neighbor this morning down by Benjamin Rd. in West Tatnuck near Olean and 122. Moose!

"the size of a couch" "galloping through the yard"

Apparently the police have been getting reports of our visitor.

Keep an eye out folks!

Friday, September 24, 2010

still deciding

It looks like it's still deciding what type of day it's going to be today. We had some low-lying fog down by the pond this morning. That's broken up, but the skies remain overcast. No forecast for rain, and it's warmer than you'd think from a glance outside.
At 9 am, it's 66 degrees and rising.
The barometer is steady at 29.32 inches.
We've got 3 mph of wind right now.

We're hoping that the skies do clear, and that many of you can join us for a Friday noon Asian Longhorned Beetle hunt at God's Acre. We'll meet off of Swan Ave for a short training, and then send you off with binoculars (bring 'em if you have them!).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Outing club reporting in

Turns out one of the bloggers over on Clark Diaries went on the Outing Club trip to Cascades. Excellent!

Work project day!

To all of you who wielded a bark spud on Sunday, now all those logs need shaping! If anyone is free this morning and would really like another whack at the adz(e), come on by! We'll be working on logs all morning.

At 9 am, it is just hitting 60 degrees
A bit overcast and cloudy
The barometer is at 29.44 inches of mercury

We got a report from a neighbor that two foxes had cornered an opossum earlier this week in his backyard. He didn't stick around to see how that worked out, but we're guessing not in the opossum's favor.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Good Neighbors!

Up here in the Cascades and in West Tatnuck we have really great neighbors.

There was an illicit, non-sanctioned, encampment on Cascades West, so we went out there and as it was unoccupied we disassembled it and removed it.

Today there was an unusually large number of cars parked at the Cascades East entrance and our good neighbors to the north called us to flag it. Turns out it was Worcester State University Professor Bill Hanson and his students on a field data collection exercise and all was well.

It is impossible to keep an eye on all of the hundreds of acres up here without help, and thankfully the hikers and the neighbors keep an eye out and let us know when something seems askew.

To all y'all out there walking, hiking, strolling, moseying, and watching, thanks for caring and for making this conservation land your own.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Today feels like fall. As fall actually starts tomorrow, I suppose that's seasonable!
(The autumnal equinox, for those of you keeping track, is tomorrow at 11:09 pm EDT.)
At 9 am, it is 56 degrees and rising (slowly).
The barometer is at 29.44 and steady.
Clear blue skies again this morning.
Still no water in the stream bed (and with the forecast, it's going to be some time before we see any).

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nice one

We hope all of you who were using the bark spud and the adz aren't feeling it too much today. We wrangled the logs (a bit lighter!) back here to the Lodge last night (thanks, Roger! We couldn't do it without you!), and they're awaiting some more adz work before we set to with mallet and chisel. Thanks for the help!

This morning it's 58 degrees and rising at 9 am.
Sunny blues skies
29.18 inches of mercury and steady
The brook is dry
The fire danger remains LOW

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Join us at stART!

If you're looking for the Greater Worcester Land Trust on this beautiful Sunday, you'll find us close to the intersection of Elm and Park under the trees of Elm Park at stART on the Street. Come work on log hewing and timber framing some new property signs!

Monday, September 13, 2010


It's only overcast now, but look what's headed our way.

(And yes, that is a tornado watch down by Wilkes Barre!)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

You'd never know this was Worcester

We've got vanloads of Clark University students coming through today. The Outing Club is running their annual hike in the Cascades (my subtitle: "You'd never know you were in Worcester!"). We've thus spent the morning running off maps and baking cookies (oatmeal raisin chocolate chip, a hiker specialty). The third group, each of 15 or more, is just out getting acquainted with the area now.

At 2pm, it is 68 degrees and sunny
We've got about 1 mph of wind, 'though it's been up to 3 this morning.
The barometer is at 29.75 inches and steady
We didn't get enough rain to get the stream back, but we're sure it's coming.

And take it from the Clark students: it's a great day for a hike!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Battening down the hatches

Even without incoming Earl, it's cooler and less humid this morning.
At 10 am, it is 78 degrees
Humidity is about 60%
The barometer (which should be rather dramatic later today) is at 29.12 inches and steady.
The fire danger is LOW.

No water in the stream, but we're hopeful the falls will be back a bit this weekend.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Woodland Asters in bloom

Prior to the rain, we were a bit concerned about the woodland asters all over the property. They were drooping badly.
Well, the rain of the last week was plenty, and by a few days in, they'd not only perked up, they were blooming.


And just in time for the kids to go back to school, lo and behold, a heat wave!
At 12 noon, it is 84 degrees (much cooler here than elsewhere!)
Humidity is about 70%
Barometer is at 29.25 and steady

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fox on Goddard Memorial Drive

This was an honest-to-goodness Jeff Barnard Wormtown Fleet moment. Heading up and over Airport Hill from Main Street to Tatnuck Square, what do I see on the side of the road but this guy? A young fox, just standing there, staring into the weeds by the side of the road! A closer look (after I took this, I pulled around the median again to to get a closer look, but he ran off before I got a closer photo) revealed that his eyes were all squinted up, as if he wasn't well somehow. I don't think he was rabid--he was together enough to run from the car--but he was a bit dazed.
Anyway, Jeff, you may have forgotten your camera today, but I didn't!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hiker Help Please!

Hello Hikers of the Cascades Trail and the Cataract Cart Road.
A couple went through this evening and lost an iphone on the trail and spent more than an hour at dusk trying to find it (even going so far as to scan the ground with flashlights when dusk overtook them.)
If anyone comes across an iphone with a bright pink case please let us know here at the Lodge.
Thanks guys!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Nice one!

We had PLENTY of rain last night, which has made today quite nice! Here, we had 1.02 inches before midnight and an added 0.12 after. While this hasn't gotten the Cascades going, it did give everything a good drink, which means that the wood asters, which were droopy, have perked up and everything's much fresher. Expect the trails to be damp today.
At 11 am, it is 67.6 degrees and rising.
53% humidity and falling
29.32 inches of mercury and steady
The fire danger remains LOW.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Volunteer Thursday!

Every other Thursday morning this summer, we're doing sign work with volunteers here at the Lodge. If you can wield a paintbrush, an adz, a hand saw, we'll find something for you to do. Work goes on here until 11:30 today.
(to the accompanyment of the woodchipper next door...'though I am freshly assured that this will end by noon today!)

At 9:30 it is 71.1 degrees and rising...quite pleasant.
42% humidity and falling
29.18 inches of mercury and steady
We have 1 mph of wind
The streambed is just a trickle (and likely to stay that way, unless the isolated showers for tonight pan out).
Fire danger is LOW ('though it's MODERATE just to our west).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


The 0.4 inches of rain that we got last night all fell after midnight, so it's on today's count. Expect it to be damp on the trails; we're still hearing the drip of water off the trees now.
It's 76.1 degrees and rising at 10 am.
51% humidity and steady
29.21 inches of mercury and steady
O mph of wind
And the rain wasn't enough to bring the stream up above a trickle.

In addition to some family health excitement, the lack of posting has possibly been because it's been hard to hear yourself think here at the Lodge lately. The development next door has made it up the property bound to the house now, and the boundary runs without many trees as a buffer up here. They have cleared right up to the boundline, with chainsaw and excavator and chipper, and it's been loud, to say the least. We also have an impressive pile of woodchips along the boundline, and an unprecedented amount of sun in the backyard.

You can join us for sign work here between 8:30 and 11:30 Thursday morning!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Wormtown Taxi

If you follow Worcester blogs, then you surely are aware of Jeff Barnard, aka Mr. Wormtown Taxi. Jeff's been fighting cancer, and he's been in the hospital.
If you'd like to wish Jeff well, you can fill out the form below (set up by Mike), and we'll see that he gets it (and if you're a blogger and you want the html for the form, get in touch and I'll send it to you!).


We've got some workers here today, building more stone wall and working on a platform for firewood. Also, today's weekly work project is TONIGHT at God's Acre. You'll find us at 5:30 off of Swan Ave (find a map here) for a trail blazing project in the Tessaset Hills trail. If you RSVP to Mary (, we'll make sure there's pizza for you.

At 10:30 it is 71.1 degrees and steady.
48% humidity and steady
29.38 inches of mercury and rising
Clear sunny skies
No wind to speak of
The stream continues below measurable levels.

And the development is RIGHT over against the Cascading Waters boundline today (but, mercifully, no banging today).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Light spinkles clearing to a magnificent day

It was overcast and occasional drizzle fell, but never amounted to much this morning.
Then the skies opened and it has been blue skies, a gentle breeze, and reasonable temps all day long.

Present Conditions 3:50 pm:
LOW USFS Fire Danger Class;
29.12" Hg of pressure and steady;
80.8 degrees F and steady;
30% humidity and steady;
no reading in the Cascades Brook presently;
medium breeze frequently gusting to 3mph;
o.o" of rain yesterday, and nothing recorded for this morning's light rainfall.

We painted property signs and informational signs here at the Lodge this morning as part of a work project.
Thanks to the improved weather everything is drying nicely.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Report from the ALB hunt

NECN joined the ALB hunt yesterday:

Afternoon breeze

It has warmed up a bit today, but we still have a steady 1/2 mph of breeze right now, so it is still pleasant.
At 2:30 pm, it is 83.7 degrees and steady
31% humidity and steady
29.26 inches of mercury and steady under clear blue skies
The stream remains below measurable levels.

If you're up for some Land Trust work this week, we have an event for you! Thursday (July 29) morning from 8:30 to 11:30 am, we're having a volunteer event here at Cascading Waters. Park at the parking area by the street and head up the driveway to the shed. Tools will be provided. All are welcome!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cooler and clear

Lovely day for a hike out there today! If you're looking for one to join, the Greater Worcester Land Trust will be continuing their Asian longhorned beetle hunt today at the Nick's Woods property. Join them at noon at on Smith Lane, off Holden Street in Worcester. Bring your binoculars!

At 10 am, it is 72.3 degrees and rising.
29.26 inches of mercury and steady under clear blue skies
41% humidity and steady
1 mph of wind
The stream remains below measurable.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cool, Breezy, Blue-skies Morning

9:02 am conditions:

29.12" Hg and steady for pressure;
68.2 degrees F and rising for temperature;
42% humidity and falling;
0.0" of rain measured yesterday (and 0.04" measured for Saturday);
No reading on the stream gauge in the Cascades Brook;
There is a gentle breeze persistently, and it stiffens to 3.0 mph from time to time;
MODERATE is the USFS Fire Danger Class for today.

It is interesting to watch the tree tops some 70 plus feet up swaying and for there to be nothing more than a gentle breeze down on the forest floor. I am sure that this is a combination of the shelter provided by the steep Cascades to our west and the trees and their leaves all around us.

It is quite amazing out there right now for pleasant weather!

A Dynamy crew is due to join us and do some work here at Cascading Waters later this morning.
A neighbor stopped by this morning to borrow some forestry wedges for a tree cutting project of her land.
Another neighbor stopped by to drop off a grant prospect for an Environmental Internship.

Busy times in the neighborhood!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hot and Sticky!

As of 9:30 a.m. the conditions at the Lodge:

75.4 degrees F and climbing;
83% humidity and steady;
29.09" of Hg pressure and steady;
0.39" of total rainfall yesterday;
a gentle breeze with no reading;
no reading on the stream gauge in the Cascades Brook;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW;
blue skies with water drops clinging to the leaves that shake off in any breeze.

Since then we have seen a groundhog this morning, though it sure looked suspiciously smaller than the groundhog from the other day. I can't tell conclusively, and maybe the hot and sticky humid conditions are making me see through mirages, but maybe we have multiples?

Be still out there and seek the occasional breeze.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Well, it is raining right now.

As of 6:15 p.m. the conditions here at the Lodge are decidedly damp.

29.19" of Hg pressure and falling;
66.9 degrees F and steady;
70% humidity and steady;
no rain yesterday, and so far 0.35" today;
no measurement on the gauge in the Cascades Brook;
no reading on the anemomenter;
the sky is grey and dripping.

One highlight of today:
GWLT submitted a grant to the Greater Worcester Community Foundation to fix up the stone walled lined cart path entrance to the new Southwick Brook property in Leicester on Marshall Street.
Keep your fingers crossed folks!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Beautiful Evening Report

Conditions at the Lodge as of 5:40 p.m.:

29.18" of Hg pressure and steady;
75.9 degrees F and steady;
34% humidity and steady;
yesterday's rainfall at the Lodge was 0.16";
a light breeze is moving through but is not reading a MPH;
the steam gauge in the Cascades Brook has no reading;
the USFS Fire Danger Class for today is LOW;
skies are blue with white clouds.

You would have though that for all the drama of yesterday's weather we might have seen more rain, but no. Doesn't appear that the blackout in Worcester hit us here either. It, the poweroutage, did hit the Trust headquarters downtown though.
Other fun stuff:

The groundhog is back!
This is yet another siting of the groundhog this summer, who was seen this morning grazing on the clover quite happily. We appear to be one of his regular stops this summer. So no bunnies, but yes groundhog.
Action Running Groundhog Shot!
Groundhog on the Rocks!

Also fun, Tuesday's ALB hunt at Kinneywoods and Cook's Woods found no evidence in the 2 hour survey. We did however munch on some late season blueberries and early black raspberries to everyone's pleasure.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Come search for the ALB!

You can join us in hunting the Asian Longhorned Beetle this afternoon over on the Kinneywood property. The hunt starts at noon at the very end of Dawson Road (just down the street from Cascading Waters). Bring binoculars and water!

At 10 am, it is a comfortable 74.3 degrees and steady
45% humidity and steady
29.18 inches of mercury and rising (those storms are still moving out)
Although we did get a spatter of rain here last night, it wasn't enough to move the rain gauge. It looks like the dramatic weather on that one went north of us.
The stream is below registering.
No wind at the moment.

The development next door continues on apace, 'though they seem for now to have given up the heavy drilling.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Severe Thunderstorms!

That's right!
The National Weather Service has predicted Severe Thunderstorms for this evening and tonight!

When the sky went grey about ten minutes back it stopped being conceptual and I tidied up the signage routing and painting projects around the outside of the shed.

Presently it is 11:35 and the conditions are:

29.12" of Hg pressure and steady;
77.4 degrees F and steady;
37% humidity and falling;
0.0" of rain yesterday (and so far today as well);
No reading on the Cascades Brook stream gauge;
LOW USFS Fire Danger Class;
A gentle breeze is moving through but no reading on the anemometer.

We have had a number of folks hiking through.
That was pretty good.

Sadly, we also discovered some dumping along Olean Street this morning as well.
It has been picked up, but it is really disheartening to see such abuse.

The signage projects underway include:

A property sign for Cascades West for Silver Spring Road a.k.a. Howard Street by Boynton Park.
A property sign for Cascades East for Olean Street at the turn around.
A property sign for Marois 28 on Goddard Memorial Drive.

(Last week the Dynamy folk were sealing one side in Polyurethane to survive the New England weather.)

A complex USFS Fire Danger Class sign for Olean Street in front of Cascading Waters, but on the northern side of the Cascades Brook.

(This is the project that the Brownie Scouts were working on, and it is getting pretty close to needing to be installed.)

Onward! To the lightning!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Light Breeze Takes the Edge Off

3:31 p.m. Conditions:

29.15" of Hg pressure and steady;
81.3 degrees F and steady;
30% humidity and steady;
0.00" of rain yesterday;
No Reading on the stream gauge in the Cascades Brook;
0MPH registering on the anemometer, but a light occasional breeze moves through at 2.0 MPH;
NONE for USFS Fire Danger Class.

It is a wonderful day out there, especially because of the breeze moving through.
If you can find a spot under the trees with the breeze you win!

It is a fantastic day to be outside and moving around.
It is shaping up to be "good sleeping weather" as well for tonight at 65 degrees.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Floating Glass...

So, the wind shifted, the sky turned grey, but not black like yesterday, and we checked the weather forecast.
Chance of rain and thunder-storms tonight.
Ok then.
Out we go into the yard to store the equipment, put away the projects, etc.

Now, it hasn't rained much this summer yet.
In particular it hasn't rained long and hard the way only a torrential downpour can.
And each time we get a long, hard, torrential rain like that little bits of broken glass magically appear in the yard like manna, only not.

It is a weird thing, to harvest glass after the rains.
There used to be a lot more, but after some 5ish years now it is a modest crop.
It seems that either the former tenants buried their debris, or that the site has some fill that isn't the "Clean Fill" the signs you see at construction sites that are being excavated have.
In either case, there is broken glass, and as best as I can tell, the specific density of glass is pretty danged light and relative to rocks and soil in a liquid suspension, it 'floats' to the top.

This struck me as nuts.
However, after years of finding new glass after each large rain storm I have come to accept that glass 'floats'.

Being possessed with noting but time as I used a key to get under the leading edge of the glass pieces one by one I began to think of sea glass on the beach.
Do I have forest glass?
Sea glass seems to also tend to the top of the sands and roll back and forth in the surf.
So there you go.
Floating glass...

--- ---

Other stuff today:
Routing wooden signs outside and making a localized snow-fall of saw-dust.

Bright Sunshine After the Rain

9:38 a.m. observations:

Gentle breeze, with no MPH reading beside an occasional gust;
Blue skies;
75.0 degrees F and rising;
60% humidity and falling;
29.12" of Hg Pressure and steady;
0.31" of rain yesterday;
No reading on the Cascades Brook Stream Gauge;
LOW USFS Fire Danger Class.

Last night was pretty amazing! In about 10 minutes the sky went black and the wind picked up. It held off raining long enough for us to put everything away, bring stuff in, close windows before it hit. And hit it did! The strongest strike, which wasn't too far away to the east, was strong enough to trip the circuit breaker for the outdoor plugs! Flash! Snap (circuit breaker)! pause, Thunder Strike! The storm brought in a healthy 0.31" of rain, which is nothing to shrug at.

Also fun yesterday, got to hike with some representatives of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation here in the Cascades. They were interested to see what we have been up to out here and we were happy to share all of the great volunteer work going on with them. We hiked from Cascading Waters to Cook's Pond beach, back to Cascading Waters, up to the Cataract Street bridge at the base of the Cascades, up the switchback to Wunneompset the split boulder, over to the the field of small glacial erratics at the top of the Cascades, and finishing at the Newton and Cascades Trail junction. It was a beautiful day for a hike, even a short one.

Today looks pretty darned nice so far. Come on out and take a hike.

Late last night the Cascading Waters entrance was serving as a speed trap!
Since Olean Street has a perpetual speeding problem this is very cool.
And to the observant volunteer who noticed this (we didn't), no, GWLT doesn't get a cut of the fines! Hah!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cool, Windy, and Hazy

8:52 a.m. conditions:

69.4 degrees and steady;
69% humidity and steady;
29.32" of Hg pressure and steady;
0.12" of rain yesterday;
0-1.5 MPH sustained wind gusts;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW;
skies are hazy.

Cool, Windy, and Hazy.

Earlier this week some volunteers worked to freshen the blazes from Olean Street to the top of the Cascades. We may need to do a little touch up work to make sure that they are convincingly circular, but they sure are much easier to pick out. Thanks to the crew for both that work and for putting another coat of poly on the property signs getting ready for installation!

Monday was a grant application to the state's Conservation Partnership Grants for land in West Boylston that tops the West Boylston Open Space and Recreation Plan's list.

Today, if all goes well, there is a chance to submit a grant to the state's LAND Grant program wherein the City of Worcester seeks to permanently protect a trail link between Green Hill Park and Lake Quinsigamond, AND protects a parcel of land off of Trinity Avenue that would expand Green Hill Park and protect the groundwater recharge for one of Worcester's reserve wells on Lake Quinsigamond. There is more awesome stuff going on with this land but I shouldn't go on and on about it. GWLT is partnering with the City to preserve this IF the City's application is successful.

And the day is a nice one!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Still sticky...but no rain yet

We've got a forecast of mostly cloudy with scattered showers, but haven't had a drop of rain here yet. We've also got a steady barometer and mostly clear radar. Keep in mind that there is a flash flood watch in effect for tonight with possible thunderstorms.

At 10:30, it is 77.5 degrees and steady
50% humidity and falling
Currently, we're measuring no wind, 'though there is a light breeze.
The barometer is at 29.29 and steady.
The brook is dry.

Monday, July 12, 2010


High humidity overnight, 'though it's heading down. Currently, it is 59%.
76.8 degrees and rising at 10 am
29.21 inches of mercury and steady
No recordable wind
Fire danger is back up to LOW (it doesn't take long)
The stream is back down under the rocks.

No hydro-ax this morning so far, but the excavator is busy.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cool, Clear, Blue Skies

What a fantastic morning!

9:00 a.m. observations:

72.0 degrees F and rising;
69% humidity and dropping;
29.09" of Hg pressure and steady;
0.98" of rain in the past 24 hours;
there is a breeze but no wind speed reading with an occasional gust of 1.5 MPH;
there is no reading from the stream gauge in the Cascades Brook;
Blue skies overhead;
USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE.

This is a wonderful day to get outside and enjoy the cooler temps and watch as the greens from the chlorophyll go wild with fresh rains.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


So there was a big thunderstorm that passed through early this afternoon.
Sometimes these downpours are all sound and fury and no real rain accumulation.

Not so this time!

We got 0.98" here, and given our equipment, I'd call that an inch of rain!

Let's give this some context here.

The national weather service tracks precipitation, and as far as I am concerned 0.01" of rain is an interesting technical note, but one thousandth of an inch isn't real rainfall. If it is less than 0.01" but detectable they call it "T" or "trace" amounts. Definitely not really rainfall in my book. So if you discount those readings (on 7/1, 6/29, 6/28, 6/27, 6/25, & 6/24) it was last a real rainfall on June 23rd with 0.22", which in itself is not a huge amount, but it is rain.

So, that is two weeks and two days with no rain!

If you are then obsessed and go back further you get to June 17th with a whopper of a rainstorm at 0.03"!

or perhaps the 16th with the massive 0.07" of rainfall.

And by that point you are looking at having had very little rainfall in almost a month. I can't go back any further than that easily as the National Weather Service records online peter out at that point.

All of which brings us back to the title of the post:

"Rain Alleluia!!"

Rain headed our way?!

Well, it has been well over a week now since we saw any rains.
And finally they are in the forecast for this afternoon, tonight, and a part of tomorrow.

Presently it is 9:08 a.m.

There is a gentle breeze moving through the leaves, but not enough to register a windspeed. You can feel it though, and that is what counts these days!

It is 76.6 degrees and steady;
It is 52% humidity and steady;
29.15" of Hg pressure and steady (and we are hoping that will change as the day goes on!);
0.0" of rainfall in the last 24 hours;
no reading on the stream flow gauge;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW;
blue skies with white clouds moving along.

And hikers just now out in the glen in front of the Lodge.

Of note:
1. There are a few blueberries in the Cascades just now coming into ripe.
2. There are raspberries and blackberries coming into ripe as well.

I had some of both yesterday and highly recommend them.

Weird aside:
If you are into odd things living in the Cascades, tune in to this week's 508 for a feature on "the blobs" in Cook's Pond!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Cue the hydroax

...and it's nine am here...cue the hydro-ax next door.
Yes, the development next door is continuing on apace, and, as we could tell you, it's not many inches to ledge here, so they're having to slam their way through to get the water lines in. It's noisy, to put it lightly.

At 9 am, it is 76.6 degrees and steady (that's good news!)
51% humidity and steady
The barometer is at 29.32 inches of mercury under clear blue skies
We have a nice 1.5 mph breeze right now.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


While the forecast for today was not for any cooler weather, it is cooler than it has been here in the trees. At 11:30, we're just hitting 81.1 degrees and rising.
42% humidity and falling (which is merciful for us, not so good for the fire danger level)
29.41 inches of mercury and steady
No rain
The Cascades are dry (mostly).
Fire danger (as will be no surprise to you following the fire on the other side of the Worcester reservoirs) is MODERATE

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

ALB found in Jamaica Plain!

An infestation of Asian Longhorned Beetles was found this weekend at Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain, just across from the Arnold Arboretum.
If you are in the Boston area, please be on the lookout for:
1) Adult Asian longhorned beetles (shiny black beetles
with white spots and long, banded antennae)

2) ALB exit holes (dime-sized, perfectly round holes,
especially in maple, but also in birch, elm, horsechestnut, willow and
hardwood trees…but not oak)

3) ALB egg-laying sites (divots in the bark ranging in
size from 1/4 to 3/4 inches across – fresh pits often have oozing,
foaming sap)

The infested maple trees have been removed, and USDA/DCR are doing further investigation in the area. Should you find any of these, get in touch with USDA at 866-702-9938.

Hot and dry

We just at 9 am hit the "hotter outside than in" point and closed all the windows for the day.
At 9:15, it is 83.7 degrees and rising.
42% humidity and steady (mercifully dry)
29.35 inches of mercury and steady
We've had no rain for eight days.
The stream is down to a trickle, mostly under the rocks.
We have 0 mph of wind, 'though there is enough to stir the leaves on the trees.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Fun Google Maps Aerial Tipi Shot!

Every so often the state flies a series of aerial shots for planning purposes.
The images, being government funded and procured, are free to the public, after all you paid for them!

The latest set is up for Worcester, and if you zoom in real close on the aerial image you can make out the blue tipi as a round profile from the sky!,+Worcester,+Massachusetts+01602&ll=42.285645,-71.861865&spn=0.000723,0.001206&t=h&z=20

The shot was taken before the shed.

Good fun!

Shed Flavored Preserves...

It is the season for canning and preserves, so why not preserve the new shed?

4 gallons of wood preservative used to date.

Assault on the North Face!

West Apex approach summitted!

2 sides in one day is not a bad days work.

Forest Sounds...

Out painting wood preservative on the north face of the GWLT shed.

In addition to the usual chirps and rustling there were two excellent sounds.
I hawk, juvenile, letting out a pattern of cries over a half hour or so.
Then the sounds of a native American wood flute threading through the trees from down towards Cook's Pond and the Tatnuck Brook.

Another Sunny & Dry Day!

Conditions as of 8:56 a.m.:

75.4 degrees F and rising;
35% humidity and falling;
29.23" of Hg pressure and steady;
0.00" of rain;
no reading on the brook stream gauge;
slow gentle breeze but no reading on the anemometer;
out of date USFS Fire Danger posted, but it has to be at least MODERATE.

Another dry day, even drier than the last.
Fireworks up on the hill in the woods last night and amazingly no brush fires.
The birds are in good spirits.

Tuesday through Wednesday night we have slight chances of thunderstorms, and that is our best chance for any precipitation.

Enjoy the day, especially those of you with the day off!

BTW: Yesterday we drove up the path and there was a big ole' groundhog sitting on the pile of granite rocks out front. Both he and we were stunned and stared at each other for a bit before he ducked down under the pile.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Beautiful Morning!

8:30 a.m. weather conditions:

72.3 degrees F and rising;
40% humidity and steady;
29.23" of Hg of pressure;
0.00" of rain;
no reading in the Cascades Brook;
breeze gusting to 2.5 mph;
USFS Fire Danger appears to be MODERATE.
Blue skies, nice breeze, makes for a nice day outside.

Dry. Things are pretty dang dry. For Cascading Waters to hit 40%, and I tend to call it "the swamp" because of humidity and shade. The leaf litter is dry. The dirt is dry. There is no rain for the foreseeable future in the National Weather Service update.

It has been a great time for painting though! Especially here where painting conditions are nominal at best. Yesterday we painted wood preservative on the front face of the GWLT shed. One full gallon was soaked in. On to the next side while the painting is good!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Variable Cloudy, Yet Nice

2:45 p.m. Observations:

67.5 degrees F and steady;
33% humidity and steady;
29.26"of Hg pressure and steady;
0.00" of rainfall;
no reading in the brook;
the USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW;
there is an occasional breeze, but nothing registering a wind speed;
the skies alternate between clouds and sun with regularity;
the ground is dry and dusty.

I fully expect the USFS Fire Danger Class to begin to rise in the next few days if we get no rain.

Great Greater Worcester Land Trust event last night at the Amphitheater at Cascades West!
Some 73 +/- folks were up there listening to music, hanging out, talking, and eating BBQ.
The weather couldn't have been better and there were almost no bugs (I wonder if the 8 citronella torches and the 2 BBQ grills had anything to do with that? or if it was just the lack of rain of late.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cool and Hazy Start

8:25 a.m. weather readings:

72.5 degrees F and steady;
61% humidity and steady;
29.00" of Hg pressure and steady;
0 MPH wind reading with an occasional light breeze;
No reading on the stream gauge in the Cascades Brook;
LOW Fire Danger Class from the USFS;
hazy skies.

Hikers moving through while it is still cooler and more pleasant out there.

The National Weather Service is taunting us with the slight chance that we might get thunderstorms after 3pm.

Tomorrow is set to be a fantastic night for BBQ, Bluegrass, by the Brook up in Cascades West by the Amphitheater. This is a GWLT event and RSVP's would be to

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Nice Sunday

9:58 a.m. observations:

29.00" of Hg pressure and steady;
71.2 degrees F and rising;
50% humidity and steady;
0.00" of rain;
0 MPH wind, with an occasional breeze;
No reading on the Cascades Brook (the trickle is too far away from the stream gauge);
Blue skies with clouds and sun mixed;
The USFS Forest Fire Danger is NONE.

The brook is pretty low, reduced to just a trickle. Lots of bare angular rock sitting there waiting for more water.

Lots of flowers and wild flowers around the lodge. Small yellow flowers on stalks, daisy like flowers, pink/purple clover, darker purple tiny low level flowers, a red rose bud on the way.

Also out back the ancient apple tree is responding well to all the other tree branches that broke off in the ice storm a year ago. We have a number of apples in process.

There are plenty of chattering noises out there, with birds and squirrels and such.

A few hikers have gone by that I have noticed, who knows how many I haven't.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nice now...

...but the National Weather Service has a hazardous weather watch up for this evening, with thunderstorms coming in. If you want to get something outside into your day, you'd want to do that earlier rather than later!
At 9 am, it is 58.8 degrees and steady
50% humidity and steady
29.32 inches of mercury and steady
We've had no rain since midnight, and the stream level has fallen to 4 inches.
No wind.
The fire danger level is LOW.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


At 10:44 am, it is 67.1 degrees and rising, under clear, sunny skies.
The barometer is at 29.26 inches and rising.
Humidity has dropped significantly to 43% and steady
The stream is at 4.4 inches; we've had no rain in the last 24 hours.
No wind at the moment (measured) 'though we've had a light breeze on and off this morning.

We've got a chipmunk out exploring the platform of what was the old shed.

Monday, June 14, 2010


The forecast still has us as "chance of showers, mostly cloudy," but we're seeing some patches of actual sun here at the Lodge, and we've had no rain since yesterday, and little then.
The stream has fallen back down to 4.8 inches; the Cascades are running but less.
We've had no rain since midnight; we had 0.04 inches yesterday.
74% humidity and steady
62.2 degrees and rising
No wind right now
The trails are wet but passable.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away

At 8:20, it is 59.7 degrees F and steady,
80% humidity and steady,
27.12 mercury and steady,
0.04 inches of rain today,
1.18 inches of rain yesterday, and
5.8 inches for the brook, sometimes rising to six.
If you are planing on hiking today wear rain gear.

Friday, June 11, 2010


At 9 am it is 56.3 degrees and steady
74% humidity (not currently raining; it's hanging in the air and dripping off the trees)
29.32 inches of mercury and rising (clearing skies)
We have had no rain since midnight, but a total of 0.43 inches yesterday, which has brought the stream, burbling merrily, up to 4.8 inches this morning.
The radar looks fairly clear right now, 'though it's due to be a cloudy weekend.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Rain, rain

We have rain today: 0.4 inches since midnight on top of 0.43 inches yesterday. That has raised the stream level back up to 4.4 inches. The secondary stream channel is also running, and there is a good flow down the falls.
At 8:45 am it is 54.3 degrees and steady. Not very June-like!
72% humidity (not raining right now)
No wind recordable
29.03 inches of mercury and steady

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Chilly and cloudy

It's getting more overcast out there as there are some storms coming up the coast due in tonight. In fact, the temperature at noon is currently falling.
It is 64.2 degrees and heading down
34% humidity and steady
29.26 inches of mercury and steady
Fire danger is LOW
We've had no rain here in the past 24 hours.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Clear and nearly crisp

We have it on good authority that there was some exciting weather over the weekend (we had some Clark students riding it out in a tent in the backyard!). Suffice to say that we've recorded 0.87 inches of rain for Sunday, 0.39 inches of rain for Saturday. And the Cascades are running!

At 10 am, it is 61.3 degrees and rising
28.97 inches of mercury and rising
43% humidity and steady
1 mph of wind
Fire danger is LOW

And you may have noticed the fruits of the Clark students' labor: there is no longer a red shed in the backyard. Progress!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Changeable Weather

11:07 Weather Conditions:

73.6 degrees F and rising;
53% humidity and falling;
29.03" of Hg Pressure and steady;
0.0" of measurable rainfall in the last 24 hours;
3.4" of flow in the Cascades Brook;
Overcast skies;
1.5 MPH of fairly steady breeze (with a peak at 2.0 MPH);
LOW USFS Fire Danger Class.

It was weird. I got up and the rain gauge was reading zero, so I figured it lost the signal. When I went out to the road it was already dry, with few damp patches. Hmmm.... maybe it didn't rain that much. When I returned I went to the old fashioned rain water tube and it had a drop or two at the bottom but nothing measurable. So... despite the wind, the lightning, and the fury of last night's storm, in the end, pretty much no rain! Go figure!

As of 7:30 it was pleasant, at 10:30 a passing dark cloud and some hints of rain, then lighter at 11:00, and now dark and ominous again. All with the wind blowing. Anything is possible today!

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Shift of the Wind

The wind began to shift.

This isn't the sort of thing you ignore, even if there isn't a cloud to be seen overhead.

The barometer calls for rain, the National Weather Service calls for heavy rain in three waves overnight, but it was the wind that begged the question.

And so, despite the brilliant big dipper, directly overhead, and a bright flash arcing across it (fire fly), it was time to take in the laundry, in the dark.

Beautiful Memorial Day w/ Butterflies!

Conditions at the Lodge as of 10:00 a.m.:

65.8 degrees F and rising;
35% humidity and steady;
29.32" of Hg pressure and rising;
0" of rainfall in the last 24 hours;
3.6" of flow in the ever decreasing Cascades Brook;
1MPH occasional breezes;
Blue skies;
LOW USFS Fire Danger Class.

For the last several days I have been watching yellow butterflies here in the glen around the Lodge.

They move up and down along the face of the trees that outline the edge of the opening. Were I to try to interpret butterflies I would say that they were mostly just having a good time and not particularly looking for anything in particular.

It would appear that the white and purple flowers we posted on about a week ago are the reason for their spending time here in the first place.

Their presence is appreciated.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Clear, Bright, yet Cool

12:12 p.m. weather observations:

71.6 degrees F and steady;
32%humidity and steady;
29.09" HG of pressure and steady;
o.o" of rain registered here yesterday, which isn't to say that we didn't get a little rain;
4.0" of flow in the Cascades Brook, which is sorta sluggish right now;
2.0 MPH of breeze fairly steady;
Blue skies;
LOW USFS Fire Danger Class appears to still be in effect.

What a great combo!
Cool, bright, low humidity!
Idyllic New England weather.

Enjoy a hike and the Memorial Day weekend!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Overcast, Cooler, with a Breeze

Conditions at the Lodge at Cascading Waters as of 9:25 a.m.:

65.5 degrees F and rising;
51% humidity and steady;
29.12" Hg of pressure and steady;
0.0" of rainfall in the last 24 hours;
4.0" of flow in the Cascades Brook;
1.0 MPH wind fairly steady;
Overcast (was brighter earlier);
USFS Fire Danger is LOW.

So we roll into Memorial Day weekend with a bunch of trail maps, and some cooler weather.

The construction of the subdivision nearby continues to push the envelope by firing up the equipment before the 7 a.m. City Ordinance stated start time. Ah, but victory will be ours! Sunday is verbotten as is the Monday holiday!

Have a hike and a great weekend!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Operation DEMO

So, back, way back, in 2005, when the Trust protected Cascading Waters, the idea was to set aside a zone that wouldn't be built on or built up along the Cascades Brook between Olean Street and Cataract Street. There was a small set-aside for the Lodge, but it was pretty tight, and the rest would be natural. To enshrine this we partnered with the Worcester Conservation Commission and they hold the Conservation Restriction to that belt between the streets along the brook.

Well, over the years we have "un-built" the Conservation Restriction belt to make it more natural.

Utility poles have been removed.
Overhead power, telephone, and cable lines were removed.

The one piece that has remained is the olde red shed.

Now, to the red shed's defense, it has been there a good long time, long before we ever showed up, and it has housed GWLT tools, equipment and projects.

BUT, the red shed is rotting at the bottom, rotting at the top, has broken windows, and has holes in the roof. Two or three times we have covered the shed's roof with plastic to keep it a safe storage spot. We even gave her a fresh coat of red. Now, that we have a new, larger, more solid shed on the build-able envelope
it is time to retire the olde red shed.

Today the first piece of that puzzle arrived.

Next week the second piece arrives: The Clark University Summer of Solutions Crew!

Another Beautiful Day

9:03 a.m. conditions:

61.5 degrees F and rising;
47% humidity and steady;
29.18" of Hg pressure and steady;
0.0" of rainfall in the last 24 hours;
4.5" of flow in the Cascades Brook;
Occasionally stirring wind 0.0 - 0.5 MPH;
Blue skies;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.

Last night's work party did a fantastic job clearing a moderately graded switchback from the base of the Cascades to the plateau above. We had a great crew with bow saws, loppers, chainsaws, and brute strength to remove ice storm damage, drag limbs and logs, and make the path clear. There was a poor mountain biker who was descending the trail while we were in the process of rerouting it and that was sort of comical.

If you stop and think to yourself... "wait, but wasn't it like a year and a half ago that the ice storm happened?" you would be entirely correct. Last year we spent our time digging out the Cascades Trails from being totally impassible, as well as the Southwick Pond Trail. That took most of our effort to manage, and we were still doing ALB surveys on the side. Folks had managed to carve out a rough path up the Cascades, or just scrambled straight up the steep eroded side, and it wasn't pretty, it wasn't a good long term solution, but hey, it worked. This was our effort to go back to the days of a rational and walkable switchback up that the rest of the world could use without danger to themselves of the hillside. It is good that it is finally up and running. If we get fancy and have a little time we might place a stair or water bar in here or there in the future to make it more erosion resilient.

Thanks to the whole crew who went out there, worked really hard, and made things right again!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cascades Trail Project Tonight!


And there is going to be a volunteer trail event tonight for fixing up the switchback trail up the Cascades starting at 5:00 p.m.
Feel free to park in the lot on Olean Street, or along the end of Cataract Street.
We have the tools, we have some food, we need your exertion of force!

Much Cooler! Much Nicer!

8:40 a.m. -->> 11:00 a.m. readings:
(fun compare and contrast!)

59.4 degrees F and steady -->> 65.7 degrees F and rising;
61% humidity and steady -->> 45% humidity and steady;
29.12" Hg pressure and steady -->> 29.12" Hg pressure and steady;
0.2" of rain last night all after midnight (sounded like more, didn't it?);
[[Weird Exception: Cascades Brook at 11 a.m. was 4.6" and was up to 4.8" by 2:30 p.m.]];
Occasional light wind no readings -->> Occasional light wind no readings;
Overcast skies -->> Overcast skies;
Fire Danger Class is LOW [[they only post daily]].

So.... the real interesting part is that some 12+ hours after the rainfall event the stream flow is still rising!
I knew there was a delay, but that is interesting to see!

Very much enjoyed last nights lightning and thunder show!
Very dramatic, and for a little while it was a pretty good downpour.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another scorcher

It's supposed to be another hot one today with thunderstorms rolling in this afternoon. I've seen a lot of people out getting their walks in this morning.
At 9 am, it is 76 degrees and rising
44% humidity and rising
The barometer is 29.18 and steady
We have 1 mph of wind right now
The fire danger is LOW
The stream is down to 4 inches even.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cascades Trail Sign

The small "Cascades Trail" Sign that was out on Olean Street was taken down some year or so back.

The problem was that the polyurethane protective coating was flaking away and the painted portions of the sign were badly fading, while the wood itself was darkening.

A double conundrum is that when a project enters the queue it may take a good long while for it to be done.

Nevertheless, the sign was taken in, sanded down, repainted, resealed, and as of this afternoon remounted.

A minor victory, of note to few, but a victory nonetheless.


There have been a lot of purple and white flowers of the same species coming into bloom around the Lodge.

They are quite nice and surprisingly tall.

Yet More Good Weather

As of 8:01 a.m.:

67.1 degrees F and rising;
65% humidity and steady;
29.44" of Hg for pressure and steady;
0.0" of rainfall (light dew overnight);
4.4" of flow in the brook (which is now burbling);
there is a light breeze, but nothing that registers;
blue skies;
LOW USFS Fire Danger Class.

There has been such a streak of nice weather for so long that it is almost getting boring.
Lucky for us, tomorrow there is a chance of showers, and Thursday a chance of Thunderstorms.
Maybe that will spice things up a bit!

Fantastic day for a hike.

Did a little bit of poison ivy management around the public access spots last evening.

Monday, May 24, 2010

More Sunny Days!

As of 8:02 a.m.:

62.6 degrees F and rising;
70% humidity and steady;
29.50" pressure and steady;
0.0" of rainfall (though there was definitely a dew last night!);
4.6" of flow in the Cascades Brook (she is slowing down notably);
Occasional wind shifts but no real persistent breeze;
Blue sky;
USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE.

Bear Update: The 60-80 lb. male bear didn't make it on its trip north. The state is going to try to figure out why.

It's another great day out there folks. The more "exciting" weather is likely to be a Wednesday chance of Thunderstorm, and Thursday chance of shower, subject to change without notice of course.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bear on Moreland

Looks like someone followed the forestline south today.
Really, you want to bring the birdfeeders and cat food in. Not kidding.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Another Nice Day

9:45 a.m.

60.6 degrees F and rising;
46% humidity and steady;
Barometric Pressure of 29.50" of Hg and steady;
0.0" of rainfall;
4.8" of flow in the Cascades Brook;
No wind;
Sunny with a hazy look to the sky;
The USFS Forest Fire Danger Class is LOW.

Beautiful day out there.
Great day for a hike.
Rain is in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow, so get out there and make the most of the sunny and dry part of the weekend!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Chilly overnight, Sunny warm Day

As of 7:45 a.m.:
60.3 degrees F and rising;
65% humidity and steady;
29.32" barometric pressure and steady;
0" rainfall;
5.0" Cascades Brook;
No wind;
USFS Fire Danger is LOW.

Of course... the first day after the installation of the anemometer there would be no wind.

Should be a beautiful day out there.

Spoke with a neighbor on Cook's Pond and learned about the muskrats, the baby beavers, and various fish that have been active this spring.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


At dusk. Still.



In late April a Worcester State College Prof. and student sighted a female adult moose in the Cascades. We will pass along more info as we get it from them!

A tiny bit dated, but no less exciting!

Sunny with a Breeze

8:05 am
56.1 degrees F and rising;
68% humidity and steady;
29.15" of Hg and steady;
Cascades Brook is at 5.8";
Rainfall yesterday was 0.51" (thus it rained an additional 0.16" last evening and night);
Sunny with a breeze (and sun predicted for the next few days too!);
USFS Fire Danger is LOW.

We have hit another milestone this morning in our seasonal march!
It is clear and sunny YET the leaf cover is dense enough where we needed to turn on the kitchen lights in the Lodge because it was too dark to be able to execute the morning routine.

After yesterday's rains things are beautiful.
The rocks and soil are a dark dark covered in moisture,
The leaves are a dense green, and
The sunlight dapples through the leaves.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Nearly an inch of rain

We've gotten nearly an inch (0.90) since it started raining yesterday afternoon: 0.55 yesterday and another 0.35 since yesterday. That adds two inches since yesterday to the brook, which is running at 6 inches even this morning.
Yes, we've got the rain gauge fixed; did you miss it?
The Cascades are running!
It is 52 degrees and rising, but not much.
The fire danger is LOW.
The barometer stands at 29.06 inches of mercury and falling.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


We've got rain here this morning, after a night of some rain as well. The stream is up to 4.10 inches and rising out there. The Cascades are trickling a bit faster.
At 9 am it is 45 degrees and rising
The barometer is at 29.47 and steady under cloudy skies
US Fire danger is LOW

We've got a wet hiker coming through now.

And for those interested, you can find the treatment map for this week for the ALB quarantine zone online.

Monday, May 10, 2010


I hope you didn't put all of your fleece away; you're going to need it today!
At 9 am, it is 45 degrees and rising.
VERY breezy (so, yes, it does feel colder)
The barometer is at 29.29 and steady under clear skies
The stream is up a bit from the weekend's rain, to 4.8 inches (and that water is COLD this morning!).

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Service Project in Process!

A service team from Girl Scout Troop 30235 is here at the Lodge working on this rainy morning.

They are in the shed polyurethaning, painting, sanding, and tracing signs for the Trust.

Luckily they are under cover and staying dry even as it rains with occasional thunder and lightning.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Rain coming in

We're under overcast skies here at the Lodge, with rain forecast for most of today.
The barometer reading is 28.91 inches and falling.
The current temperature is 61 degrees and rising a bit with some wind.
The stream is at 4.4 inches, trickling over the stones.
And a walk down the street reminds us that it's lilac season! Enjoy it while we have it.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Cooler and Darker

Out for an evening walk and enjoying the cool and dark of the cloud cover. Sure it sprinkled a bit on us, but it never really rained. We walked the Holden cart path up and back.

It is wonderful to have the pleasant weather and all the green bursting forth everywhere.

The Cascades Brook is running at 4.6";
The barometric pressure is 28.97" of Hg and steady;
The temperature is 59 degrees F;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW;
The breeze is blowing and the sky is overcast, and from time to time it gently sprinkles.

Also got a chance to check out conditions at Coes Reservoir Park CR today. Really quite wonderful!

Enjoy it while it's here

We seem to be between two storm fronts this morning: yesterday's violent wind and sudden downpours, with rain forecast for this afternoon again.
Right now, at 9 am, it is sunny, 68 and rising, dry air, light wind
Barometer is at 29.00 and steady under clear blue skies
With the wind, the trails have dried out fast.

We've been told that there are some limbs down on various Cascades trails due to the wind yesterday and over the weekend. If you can give us a specific location (GPS is great, but even just a general description is a help) for anything you see, that would be helpful. Thanks!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Warm Headed to Hot and Damp

It is getting funky here at the Lodge.

Things cooled off, but didn't get cold.
The Lodge is cooler, but didn't bleed off all of the heat built up yesterday.
And already, there is a sense in the air that the temperature will climb back up again.
Not enough to be hot, but definitely enough to be muggy.

So the leaves are crowding in, the humidity is climbing up, and the temperature is headed up.
That's right folks!
Summers pretty much here.

As of 8:45 am:
The Cascades Brook is at 5.4";
The Barometric Pressure is 28.82" Hg and gently falling;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE;
The temperature is 71 degrees F (76 inside);
and while it rained enough to crank up the height of the Brook the ground isn't really all that wet in terms of the trail and hiking.

The Cascade Brook's mosquito larvae appear to have graduated!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Warm here!

6:00 pm

It is warm here at Cascading Waters.
The Lodge is a toasty 85 degrees indoors!
We So need the trees (particularly the ash) to fully leaf out and air condition things for us.
Go tree go!

Presently it is 84 degrees F outside the Lodge;
The barometric pressure is 28.97" and steady;
There is a persistent gentle breeze;
There is a mix of high haziness in the sky, some clouds and some blue skies;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE;
The Cascades Brook is at 4.6" with decent flow.

General notes:

* Pulling up invasive plants in the glen such as garlic mustard, Norway maple, Multiflora rose, barberry, etc. (I am beginning to believe I am becoming part goat as I do this. There must be a fairy tale in this somewhere.)

* Today there were a small tribe of boys walking the length of the Cascades Brook. That part is cool. The part that is tricky is that they were ripping apart the banks of the brook in order to throw rocks into the water. They are not alone. Lots of folks who come here to hike come and rip up the ground to pull stones to throw in the brook. Clearly directly and physically engaging nature is very very good. Yet, doing so in a fashion that leaves the site continually and progressively degraded is not. How to help folks think this through in a sentence is my current quandary. Suggestions are welcome. I toy with ideas like: "Each rock torn from this small parcel leaves less for the next person and nothing for the next generation" but I am not entirely happy with that. If only they all wanted to find a small stick and a cue from Winnie the Pooh and chased them as they went down stream instead. Alas, not so much.

* Last night there was a party up at the top of the Cascades. I haven't been up there to see the damage. I did hear them spinning out of here on Cataract Street at 2am with the headlights off though. I am hopeful, until it is proven otherwise, that they wish to not spoil the site and enjoying it for others and that they took their stuff with them. It is funny, as a land manager I am not averse to some level of mischief, but part of the bargain I wish to strike would be if folks left no trace, and thus no reason for anyone to chase them off in the future. (If you must have a beer party bring cups and a keg or cans, it takes hours and hours to deal with broken glass that can hurt toddlers.)

Well, enough of that.
Off to tend grill.

Friday, April 30, 2010


Upcoming Events!

1. Tomorrow,

8:30 am (9am for slower risers) GWLT will be gathering just off of Harrington Way across from North High School for an EPIC EARTH DAY CLEANUP!!

This Earth Day Cleanup is so EPIC that it took an entire day just to open up the site in order to be able to get the trash out!
This Earth Day Cleanup is so EPIC that it isn't clear if we could get all the debris out with a small military detachment!
This Earth Day Cleanup is so EPIC that it took last year's efforts just to get us far enough into the site to mount this offensive!

Come see the trash funiculaire (aka The Cable Car of debris!) Constructed of bit and pieces by Allen Fletcher and Colin Novick to hoist the trash up the slope to the pick up spot. (Or watch them desperately try!)

There will be food served to the loyal folk who mount this effort at its conclusion (the work ends when the trash truck leaves (approx. 11:30 am) as there is no second pick up.)

And then, what better way to kick back after a weekend of Earth Day cleanups than a following weekend fishing derby! Right here in our own watershed!

2. Next week:

May 8 – Coes Pond Fishing Derby at Coes Pond in Worcester -- 8:00am - 11:00am. If you have fishing equipment, bring it along. This event is sponsored by the Worcester Fish and Game Association. Contact Jim Lagacy at (508) 389-6309 or

Cool but pleasant!

First up!

Thank God we don't have a broken oil rig in the middle of Cook's Pond spilling tens of thousands of gallons of crude every day into the Tatnuck watershed. (And now a moment of silence for the poor folks on the Gulf Coast...)

The Cascades Brook is at 4.8" with a gentle enough flow where mosquito larvae could been seen dancing in front of the stream gauge. I wouldn't have thought the flow to have allowed this, but then, there it was.

As of 9:22 am:
the temperature is 55.5 degrees F;
the pressure is 29.03" of Hg and steady;
the sky is overcast and there is a fairly steady breeze;
the USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE; and
the trail conditions are good.

A shout out to Mark Tozer and the 4th and 5th grades from Tatnuck Magnet who hiked over to the Cascades yesterday (looked like about a hundred of them in all!) to explore the Cascades and learn a little. An enthusiastic bravo to the teachers as the students were really well behaved and having a great time! We look forward to their return!

Monday, April 26, 2010

No, thank you

To whomever saw fit to dump a crib mattress and bag of trash next to the end of the trail: no, thank you. We don't have some sort of free deal for getting rid of other people's stuff, and we'd much prefer you took care of it yourself.
To the rest of the universe: should you see someone dumping on GWLT lands, please let us know. Photos, license plate numbers, and any other identifying info is especially good. Just don't get yourself hurt doing so.

As for the rest of the report:
Digging continues on apace at the development next door. We're pretty sure they've got the water line in, so what they're up to now, who knows? They start up the excavator every day at 7:30, however, so clearly they feel there is work to do.
At 9:30, it is overcast and 52 degrees.
Temperature is rising, 'though not much.
The barometer is at 28.61 inches of mercury and steady.
I'm having some trouble tracking down the fire danger for today, but keep in mind that we have not gotten much actual rain, so it's pretty dry out there.
The stream is running at 4.8 inches.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


A lovely day for a walk in the woods ('though we suspect the pollen count is up).
At 9:30 am, it is 62 degrees and rising
Sunny skies
The barometer is at 29.06 inches of mercury and steady
The brook is down quite a bit, 'though the Cascades are still trickling.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


It's another lovely day: the daffodils are up, the hyacinths are blooming, and under the trees, the trout lilies are starting to come up!
At 10 am it is 60 degrees and rising
Sunny skies
The barometer stands at 29.44 inches and steady
Clear blue skies

Thursday, April 08, 2010

More spring!

It is still windy out there, so I'm really hoping that the hiker who just came through with a cigarette didn't subsequently toss it in a pile of leaves.

At 10 am, it is 65 degrees and still rising under sunny skies
The barometer is at 29.03 inches and steady
The fire danger today is MODERATE


Olean Street at the beginning (at Mower) is now CLOSED to all but local traffic.
I can only assume that this has to do with the human remains found on Reservoir Street. Someone who went through there this morning (before it closed) said it was very busy.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Spring is springing! UPDATED

First of all, yes, this find is right down the road from us, and no, we don't know anything about it, either.

Here at the Lodge, it is just hitting 60 at 9 am; the forecast says it could hit the mid-80's today!

The fire danger is back down to LOW with yesterday's rain (it will dry out quickly in this weather). UPDATE: Yes, in fact there is a RED FLAG WARNING posted for today, due mostly to the wind.
The stream continues at 5.2 inches.
The barometer is at 28.88 inches of mercury and steady under light blue skies.

The trails didn't get all that wet yesterday. I don't have the measurement, but that wasn't a lot of rain. There should be no problems on the trails today (well, assuming you don't run into investigators, I guess).

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Green everywhere!

Suddenly the woods aren't looking nearly so brown. While most of the trees are not yet budding, the bloodwort and lots of other sorts of groundcover are popping up!

Hat tip to the fun albino robin spotting in Athol!

The stream is down to 5.2 inches.
The fire danger remains HIGH (VERY HIGH to our north).
At 9:30 am, it is 60 degrees
Overcast right now with the barometer at 29.15
The Cascades are still running, but they have slowed down considerably.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Beautiful Morning

The Cascades Brook has returned to a more normal 5.5" (with no feet being recorded!)

Green bulb based plants are popping up everywhere and there is a virtual carpet of Bloodwort in the back.
As you look at the twin brook channels (with one now unused) you can see where the storms scoured away all the leaves with clear evidence of where the waters once flowed.

Presently there is an occasional light breeze, blue skies, with some whispy high altitude clouds.
The temperature is just poking over 52 degrees at 7:34 am;
The pressure is 29.38" and stead;

And things have dried out, and there is leaf litter everywhere, and a gentle breeze....

Now this is going to seem mind bending BUT...


Be very careful with sparks, heat, fire, when out in the woods. Bad day for a brush pile burning folks.

We may have only recently had flooding, but yesterday we were at HIGH and since then we have only gotten drier. ALSO there are winds predicted for later in the day that would not help were there a fire in progress.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Trout Stocking

The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife have been out stocking the ponds and lakes of Massachusetts with fish!

Last week they stocked Bell Pond in Worcester.
This week they are stocking Lake Quinsigamond.

They list places stocked in Central Mass. each week at:

For this month's MassWildlife Newsletter go to:


Clearing out for what looks like an excellent weekend. There isn't a cloud between here and Wisconsin!
At 10:30 am, it is 50 degrees and rising.
Cloudy skies
The barometer stands at 29.29 and rising
The fire danger is back up to LOW
The Cascades are still rushing, so as it gets sunny, it'll be a great chance to come out and see them!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Running high

The stream is down a bit from yesterday, to one foot even this morning. We've had a break from the heavy rain for a bit this morning.
Cook's Pond is quite high, having taken over much of our neighbor's backyard (across Olean Street).
Currently it is misting a bit.
The Cascades are roaring.
It is 40 degrees (down a bit) at 9 am.
The barometer is 28.91 and rising.

Also, Bill Randall's got a nice photo of the Cascades up today.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Seriously drenched!

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.
Brook at 1'4" surging to over 1'5"!

Yesterday, before the present rains came in earnest, there were already places where dozens of earth worms were trying to escape the water saturated soil to avoid drowning. That was BEFORE last night and this morning.
Presently the glen out in front of the lodge is standing puddles everywhere.
The Cascades Brook has transcended the one channel, and the two, and the whole of the land between them is like a delta.
The Brook is presently running at 1'2" surging to 1'3" every couple of seconds. We have seen higher, even this spring, but it is still an admirable quantity of water.

The Cascades are white and frothy and the overflow channel is running as well.

By the way.... The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE (Ha!)
Presently at 2:36 p.m.:The pressure is 28.73" and declining;
The temperature is 43 degrees;There is a strong wind with occasional gusts;
It is raining!

The trails are beyond muddy, and there are large portions with standing water.

There is an upside to all of this as well!The rains have brought with them the greening of the dominant mosses and few grasses;
The rains have coaxed two croci out of the ground (purple and purple and white);The rains have also coaxed the native Bloodwort up, particularly where the flood occurred three odd weeks back.The rains are also swelling the buds on the bushes and trees.
So bear up! Spring is coming, just let the rains do their magic!

Monday, March 29, 2010


...and the DPW truck just went by, checking the culverts.
There is a flood watch in effect: the forecasts say that we could have as much water heading downstream as we did for the storms two weeks ago. Make sure your culverts and storm drains are clear!

The stream is back up (I haven't checked today, but I can see it's running higher) and the Cascades are gushing.
At 2:30 pm, the temperature is 54 degrees
Barometer stands at 29.03 inches of mercury and steady
The fire danger is NONE; the entire East coast is clear.

Friday, March 26, 2010


The temperature has dropped back down today, 'though it does not appear to have slowed down the robins all over the lawn!
I woke up to them singing this morning.

At 9 am, it is 38 degrees (hey, it's too warm to snow, at least!)
The barometer is 29 inches even and rising (!)
Light rain
The stream is at 7.2 inches
The Cascades are flowing
The fire danger is MODERATE, but should be falling over the course of the day

Thursday, March 25, 2010


And in loading this up, I missed a photo, straight outside the window, of a groundhog. He's up!

Worcester State class coming through

...and don't you think they're all glad to be outside today, rather than in a classroom? A Landscape class, looking at neighborhoods, taking a walk on the property today.

The stream is at 7.8 inches, still running fast.
The Cascades are rushing.
At 10 am, it has just hit 50 degrees and rising.
Light wind
The fire danger locally remains low, 'though western Mass is creeping into moderate
The barometer is at 29.18 inches and steady

For those of you interested in the development next door, you might want to know that the owners are going before the Planning Board next Wednesday. The meeting starts at 5:30 pm in the Levi Lincoln room at City Hall, and the plan for 125 Olean is 7th on the agenda. They're asking for an extension on their approval for a subdivision, as their current one has expired.