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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Cascades West sign

Colin, Tyler, and William braved the cold and got the new sign up. Look for it at the property bound with Boyton Park on Silver Spring Road!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sign going up today!

You know you have intrepid volunteers when people show up even when it's 17 degrees! The sign at Cascades West has been brought up the hill and will be going up today.
It is COLD: at 9:30, it is just breaking 20. With the wind, which we're getting about 7 mph of right now, it feels like zero.
Bright and sunny, however.
The Cascades, after the rain earlier this week, continue to run through the ice. If you've never seen them like this, come by! It's really quite lovely.
The fire danger remains NONE (though it is low to the east of us).
If you bundle up and account for the wind, nice day for a hike! The mud that's been plaguing us has frozen!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wind Advisory!

The National Weather Service wants you to know that there is a wind advisory today.
Winds may gust up to 46 mph.
Ordinarily that isn't too too bad,
but recently we had an ice storm and there are still limbs hanging here and there, so if you head into the woods be extra aware of your surroundings please.

Yesterday the GWLT volunteer crew and a kindly dog walker who loves to dig holes headed up into Cascades West.
After digging down to the bedrock (and that wasn't very far down at all) we stood up the massive timber frame property sign holder, and set it in place.
The property sign is completed and should be following along shortly.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

You can't tell by the weather

You'd never know that it's November 27 from the weather outside!
At 9:30, it is 40 degrees even and rising.
Beautifully sunny with a light breeze.
The Cascades are still rushing from the rain earlier this week.
The fire danger is NONE.

An excellent day to get out and hike! We are still taking reports in from the trails, so let us know if you run into anything.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tree Branch Down

First of all, things here are quiet at the moment.
Earlier we had "pop" noises, followed after a few seconds by a crash.

The most exciting was accommodated by a "bang" as something hit the roof.
No holes (checked from the inside), and the most puzzling orientation.
We will have to head out in the morning light to see which tree it came from and how it could possibly come to rest the way that it did.

Well, all is well for now!

8:10 pm conditions:

USFS Fire Danger rapidly decreases from MODERATE to NONE! (surprise surprise);
(Another "pop" pause..... "crash"!)
32.4 degrees F and steady (that means heavy and wet/melting);
98% humidity;
29.12" Hg Pressure and falling;
looks to be approaching 3" of snow in places;
no record-able wind-speed presently.

We are going to have an interesting night once the wind cranks up, or if a lot more snow is added to the equation.

Trees Bending to the Ground

It is barely a white thin coating of snow on the ground and already the trees have branches bent full over to the ground.

This could get interesting.

SIDE NOTE: Most of our "typical" trees,like Red maple, Sugar maple, Ash, Hickory, have all lost all of their leaves already. They are used to this whole crazy bit about living in New England. The trees with the most leaves in general, with exceptions, are the invasive exotics, like the Norway Maple. This is Mother Nature's way of showing ecological zone preferences for particular species. For example: Late leaves are an advantage for extra photosynthesis and energy storage, right up until the early season snow storm breaks the tree. End of advantage.

The Storm Rolls In...

Flakes are falling here at Cascading Waters!

1:35 pm Conditions:

USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE;
The Brook is running at 4.1";
37.4 degrees and steady;
71% humidity and steady;
7.5MPH max;
29.32" of Hg Pressure and falling;
Overcast sky;
No measurable accumulation YET!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Unseasonably Warm!

A nice day for a hike, but dress for the weather!
At 8:59am,
-the temperature is 65.5 F and rising,
-the humidity is 65% and steady,
-the pressure is 29.59 and steady.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

More Drying Weather!

First of all, the stream gauge is out of commission for the foreseeable future.
The sizable rock that slammed into it has pulled the bracket part way off of the tree and the metal measuring rule is bent quite a bit and bending it back may not be possible.

Also of great interest to me is that while there have been quite a few days now since peak flow in the Cascades Brook the second stream channel is still running!

It has always puzzled me that the second stream channel does not run more regularly as the topography would seem to dictate. There is a rock berm along the primary channel that somehow has managed to hold the flow back without the water seeping through. Whenever you try to make an effective rock berm like this water simply flows through in between the rocks, but not here, and this continuously causes me great wonder.

Perhaps the force and flow of the latest storm breached that rock berm and now the two channels will run as the slope of the land would seem to have required all along?

It will be fun to watch and wait and see what the stream has in mind.

Today's Conditions as of 8:00 am:
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW;
No recorded windspeed and there is a mist that has hung in the air this morning;
Pressure reading of 29.18" of Hg and level;
63.7 degrees F and steady;
96% humidity and steady (dang that is high for a non-rainy day. Must be the mist!);
The skies are clear and sunny;
The trails have mostly dried out though the mud is still soft.

Also of minor note here at the Lodge yesterday, the old fieldstone chimney got some attention to the flashing, mortar, and water seals to keep it in fine working order heading into the winter.

Yesterday also saw the GWLT Volunteer Trail Crew out and cutting their way through downed storm debris that has accumulated over time. More bow saw work was required than any trail I have worked on in years! The end effect was wonderful with the path re-drilled right through the dense thick woods.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Hard rock

What happens when you get two feet of water in a stream channel?
It can be tough on the stream gauge. This rock is probably 8 inches across, and there was enough water running down the channel that it got smashed into the gauge and bent it out of shape.

Our stream measurements may be a little off for awhile!
This morning, while everything is a bit muddy, most of the water is back in its normal channels.
It is 98% humidity under the trees.
It's 64.9 degrees and rising.
The barometer is 20.09 and steady.
We've gotten no rain since midnight; yesterday's total was an impressive 3.11 inches!
Dry off!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

At the height of the flood

Stream photos

A few photos from 8:30 am.
Here (with rain falling in front of the lens)  are the Cascades. If you've been there, especially during flooding, you know it's basically impossible to get a photo that represents how impressive they are. They're in full spate now.

And this is the source of the flooding. This culvert goes under Cataract Street. As you can see, at 8:30am, it was full. By 9, it had overflowed the basin, run across Cataract, and down the hill. By 10, the Lodge driveway was gone.


At 9 am this morning, the amount of leaves and water overwhelmed the culvert. There is now water coming through the backyard and heading for the driveway.
The brook is running at between 2.6 feet and 2.72 feet. We've now gotten 3 inches of rain since yesterday noon.
We here there's flooding all over the city; think about your route today!

UPDATE: At 10 am: the driveway is gone.



The Cascades are ROARING!
There is standing water everywhere around the Lodge.
The street, Olean Street, has around 4" of rain running down it.
The parking area is slowly going under.
The Cascades Brook is running 1' 7.2" at least, but we are having a hard time gauging this as the water is surging with an eddy around the tree the gauge is mounted on. It might be more.
The second channel is open and running fast.
There are substantial puddles on the trail.
The "optional" swamp has magically appeared on both sides of the brook and the access road.

NOT a fabulous day for a hike.
It is however a fabulous time to view the Cascades from Cataract Street.

8:20am Conditions:
2.87" of rain since yesterday noon;
56.8 degrees F and steady;
98% humidity and steady;
29.38" of Hg pressure and steady;
1' 7.2" of Stream flow (or more);
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW (We are keeping it at NONE under the circumstances);
Occasional breeze, no reading.

Today's sign work is postponed.
There is no safe place to park around here and the shed of tools and supplies is surrounded by standing water.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


As you'll see below, we've had enough rain that the secondary stream channel is open. The stream is up to 6 inches (and muddy) with the 1.06 inches we've had since midnight on top of the half an inch from yesterday.
At 8 am, it is 58.6 degrees and steady.
98% humidity and raining steadily.
The barometer is at 29.47 inches of mercury and steady.
The fire danger remains NONE.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


Ever get so caught off guard you have no clue how to respond?

So this afternoon I look down the access road from the Lodge and see a white sedan.
Cool! It is dreary and raining on and off and there are users out there!

Then I see the owner,
lumbering up from the trail by the brook,
with a significantly big stone on his shoulder,
clearly heavy based on his frame,
which he loads into his trunk.

What the...?

So I mosey down the access road slowly sort of gathering my thoughts, trying to figure out the situation, deciding how to respond.

I mean, like, what if the dude had a moment of deep personal epiphany and it involved this rock? Or what if he is about to become an internationally known sculptor and this rock has moved him so deeply to his artistic core as to open up a new vision on the world for us all? I don't know, what if his great great grandmother lived here and the family is trying to reunite a dying elderly member with a place of their past before they leave this plain... (I really think odd things like this.)

So I am predisposed to be a bit restrained.

Then he heads back into the brook for another one... Ok, um, maybe not.

So after asking twice if I can help, and introducing myself, he volunteers that these are for an aquarium. (First thought: My Lord! an aquarium the size of a house?! (I mean these are seriously BIG rocks, and I have worked with aquariums since I was a wee tyke.))

So then begins the conundrum,
How to address this to him as inappropriate behavior?

My first thought is the old saw: "Leave only footprints, Take only pictures."
But there is a whole host of other thoughts and ideas tangled up in that statement that getting to what amounts to a philosophical bumper sticker of a conclusion of personal behavior seems daunting.

My second thought involved the direct impact to the environment. You have a host of possibilities: erosion, macro invertebrate habitat disruption; stream course alteration; and a whole host of unknown "butterfly effect" ideas that make one pause and worry or pray before taking action. But again this is a host of ideas boiled down into a conclusion after deciding that the environment and its constituent portions have values that impact my personal choices of action.

Then I go into deep philosophical territory as a third foray. Cumulative impacts of human action repeated over and over, and especially on a small urban piece of property set apart as a reserve, conserved for future generations. Notions of "passive" and "active" recreation whirl in my head. Explanations of the core difference between the two, with "active" being an extraction from the property leaving it less than it was for others who come after, and "passive" attempting to be more neutral in its impact over time. And then I realize MAYBE I get two sentences with the dude, tops.

So, now, out of time, and not interested in offering a lecture or a philosophical treatise, I settle for over simplified "rules."
There are "rules."

I am sorry, but this land was invested in by the public and as a result there are rules. Folks aren't supposed to take things away from the site but leave them in place. Perhaps you might find a place not subject to these sorts of rules? I am very sorry.

He left with only his first rock.
I left deeply dissatisfied with my final answer.
And now I turn it over and over in my head seeking a more elegant and effective approach.

So far my best thoughts involve asking him questions, questions that might lead him to consider a more philosophical contemplation of him, his world, his place and role in it, and our responsibilities resulting from that. Alas, if only Socrates had done land management...

Rain again!

And so, last night, after having been dry for a week, it began to rain.

The vivid green on the plants always makes it look as if they are outwardly expressing happiness with the return of the rains, but perhaps it is a trick of the light.

Conditions as of 8:10 am here at the Lodge:

0.47" of rainfall measured here for this storm;
5.76" of flow in the Cascades Brook (up from yesterday's 4.8");
USFS Fire Danger is NONE;
No wind;
59.7 degrees F and steady;
96% humidity and steady;
29.21" of Hg pressure and steady.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Busy Day!

Today was a busy day!

First, there were the three crews of the Clark Outdoor Club who came to hike the Cascades and based their walk out of Cascading Waters. 32 folks in all.
Then there were the Clark students who just happened to show up on their own for a hike more or less about the same time.
And then there were the two Clark students (one past Intern, and one present Intern) who just showed up because they really wanted to cut trail! Phenomenal!

This was all on top of the typical busy shoulder season weekend traffic we see when school is in session and trips to far away places become more complex to set up. Hike local!

All of the traffic, particularly with the Clark Outdoors Club stopping for orientation on the way up, and for drinks and cookies at the conclusion of the trip, and the Interns crashing for trail work and then a well deserved dinner, was a whole lot of fun for all of us here at the Lodge.

Thanks to all!

Noting that there was inadequate seating for folks, we took the trunk of the Hemlock tree that was cut last year and cut it into sections, and split one section with wedges to produce some rustic seating. The longer stem was harder to split (time wise) and wasn't done in time for the crews but will be available for later.

The present conditions 9:22 pm:
73.9 degrees F and steady;
85% humidity and steady;
29.15" of Hg pressure and steady;
presently no wind recorded although the air does stir from time to time;
no rain has been recorded in days at this point (soon to change!);
USFS Fire Danger Class NONE.

= = = = = = = =

(And thanks to the generous cook who whipped up multiple bathes of oatmeal, raisin, chocolate chip cookies for the Clark folks!!)

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Cloudy Morning

The Trust will have a presence at the Spencer Fair on Friday as we are sharing a booth with the Common Ground Land Trust and Massachusetts Audubon Society regarding the preservation of a 325 acre property on the Spencer/Leicester bound that includes the venerable interstate "Mid State Trail."

On Sunday we are expecting a crew of hikers from the Clark Outdoors Club in their annual pilgrimage through the Cascades.

As for today...
Today the state officials with the Division of Conservation Services come to Worcester to examine the Esper Ave property. This would protect priority habitat here in Worcester, it would very nearly link the God's Acre area to Patches Reservoir land held by the Worcester Conservation Commission, and it would serve as a trailhead. But that is all geeky technical stuff. The land is gorgeous! Stone walls, sloping hillside, glacial erratics, stream, wetlands, some big old oak trees.... It looks and feels like old New England, and is right off of Mill Street.

7:57 am Conditions here at the Lodge:

62.4 degrees F and steady;
95% humidity and steady (way humid considering there was no rainfall);
29.47" of Hg pressure and steady;
No rainfall;
No wind;
Skies are cloudy;
5.52" of flow in the Cascades Brook (leveling out);
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And the Stream Goes Down

The Cascades Brook keeps going down and down with each day without new rains.
That being said, the brook would generally be lower than it is even now without Irene, so it will continue to go down unless we get new rains.
At the moment that isn't supposed to happen until Saturday.

Other fun and exciting things are afoot!

Some number of years ago the idea came up of working on pedestrian links between open spaces in the City. A neat idea to be sure, but how would you go about it?
Not so way back in June there was a City Council order, responding to a petition forwarded by District Councilor Bill Eddy, exploring the possibility of a cross walk on Olean Street to link GWLT's Cascading Waters to the Cook's Pond Conservation Area.
Subsequently City DPW staffers explored the request, the reasons, the existing infrastructure, and the crosswalk rules.
Last night the item made it to the Traffic and Parking subcommittee of the City Council where it was approved.

At some point in the not too distant future there will be a crosswalk connecting these two conservation areas.
The hike from Tory Fort Lane, Worcester to Rte. 122 and Camp Street in Paxton is about to get even more pedestrian friendly!
Thank you City of Worcester!

7:33 pm Evening Conditions:

No wind;
No rain;
5.52" of flow in the Cascades Brook (way way down);
70.7 degrees F and falling;
85% humidity and rising;
29.44" of Hg pressure and steady;
USFS Fire Danger Class of LOW.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


We've got another clear day here at the Lodge.
The water is still flowing over the Cascades. We've had a report in from the trails that, while there is debris from the storm on the trails, there are no trees down. Thanks, Tina!
65.1 degrees and rising
81% humidity and falling
29.35 inches of mercury and steady
No rainfall since yesterday
The stream is at 6.12 inches, which you'll note is a whole FOOT less than Sunday!
No wind

Monday, August 29, 2011

Post-Irene calm

Certainly the post-storm calm out there this morning!
At 7:30 am, it is 58.3 degrees and steady, rather chilly actually.
84% humidity
29.06 inches of pressure and rising.
In total, we had 3.66 inches of rain during the storm.

We avoided most damage up here in the Lodge. We've got several sizable trees down: one across the driveway, one across the trail, one behind the shed.
We are asking all hikers and walkers to please report in with downed trees or blocked trails.
We need to know what trail, and where/about how far in.
If you can try to classify what is bowsawable (up to 10" or so) and what is chainsawable (=or > 12") that would be great. Many thanks!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cascades, Worcester: Tropical Storm Irene: 8/28/2011

For those of you who didn't get a chance to hike the Cascades Trail today and see the rainfall from Tropical Storm Irene roaring down the Cascades and Cascades Brook!

5pm update: beyond the eye

It was fairly calm there for some time, and then the wind picked back up. We're seeing gusts of up to 30 mph again now.
The brook has also somewhat subsided; it's down to 13.2, surging to 14.4 inches.
It is 68.4 degrees and steady.
Still 98 percent humidity
28.26 inches of mercury and falling
We've had a total of 3.66 inches of rain here during the storm.

Noon update: gusts of 58 mph!

While we off at church this morning, we had half a tree come down across the driveway. We've also got some birches along the south property bound down, and a sizable one right along the back of the shed. Narrow misses!
The brook is 18 inches surging to 20.4 inches.
While we are very sheltered here between the trees and the hill, yet we are still seeing wind gusts of up to 58 mph (Note: I've had to change that FOUR times while typing this!).
It is 69.4 degrees F and steady.
98 percent humidity and raining steadily.
The pressure is 28.35 inches of mercury and FALLING.
We've had 3.58 inches of rain during the storm.
The Cascades are ROARING!

Morning update: 7 am

The Cascades are running!
The brook is up to 8.4 inches, and the secondary stream channel is open and flowing.
So far, for this storm we' ve gotten 2.09 inches of rain.
The wind has picked up, with a top speed thus far of 15 mph.
It is 71.9 degrees and steady.
The humidity, with rain falling, is 98 percent.
The barometer is 28.67 inches of mercury and dropping.
I'd say Irene is here!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

10:30 pm update

Not really raining here at the Lodge right now, and the frogs are singing full blast.
The brook remains at 6 inches.
There is still no wind.
The pressure is at 29.12 and steady.
It is 69.8 degrees and steady.
98 percent humidity and steady
We've had 0.55 inches of rainfall today.

Next post in the morning, unless something big changes during the night.

As of 5:30 pm

The brook has now risen to 6 inches.
There is no wind.
We've had a total of 0.43 inches of rain.
Currently there are 29.15 inches of mercury, and that's holding steady.
It is 71.1 degrees and steady.
We've got 97% humidity.

And, yes, we've made sure that the culvert above us is clear!

Rain just started

The rain from Irene just started here at the Lodge, where our hurricane preparations have included getting the weather reporters (wind gauge, rain gauge) back up online. We'll post (so long as we have service) updates as they're interesting.
Right now it's 76.6 degrees, 78% humidity, lightly raining.
Barometer is at 29.18 and steady (the center is pretty far away yet)
No measurable wind

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Trail Angels"

There is a notion out on the Appalachian Trail that when someone does a gratuitous kind act to help others they are "trail angels." At first this sounds a bit over dramatic, like a bad Hallmark card, but when you read about the sorts of acts of kindness and the amount of trouble folks engage in it rings true.

Well, today, with the path for Hurricane Irene centered on Worcester, MA we had just that sort of wonderful act take place.

There is a giant canvas wall tent that we set up for the summer. We use this for interns, volunteers, projects driven under cover by rain, etc. Well it is up, and it is held up by a series of 32+ ropes, and it is subject to the influence and action of the wind. 35 mph wind and a canvas wall tent are a poor combination, never mind 75 mph, and if you want to be able to use the tent again you need to get it down on the ground.

No problem, there are DAYS before the hurricane hits (assuming it hits.) Only this morning it was threatening rain, and you can't put away a wet canvas tent for the season without ruining it, and taking it down wet, and trying to set it up wet, just to dry it and take it down again, is a seriously unpleasant prospect.

But then the volunteers to work on trail signs, property signs, and timber framing arrived. Despite this being totally different, somewhat tedious, and definitely heavy, they each joined in and got the tent down dry and stored it away.

In an act of less than half an hour they save days of work, and for that, to me, this morning, they were indeed "trail angels."

Then they did an immense amount of timber work, stayed extra time, and shared great stories and camaraderie.

It was a splendid morning here at Cascading Waters.

Thank you Michele, Russ, and Ron!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Another Sunny Day!

As the pink rose along the stone wall begins to mature, a red rose bed promises to expand soon!
A squirrel has decided to enjoy the vantage point of sitting atop one of the stone cairns.
It looks to be a great day out on the trails.

Conditions at the Lodge as of 9:15 a.m.:

64 degrees F;
no precipitation;
29.21" of Barometric Pressure;
a slight breeze moving through the leaves;
the brook is already down to 3.84" of flow, and receding quickly without constant rain to feed it;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Suuny! At last!

Last week I caught sight of the local red fox crossing Olean Street at 7:30 am.
This morning there is a pink rose in bloom along the field stone wall, and there are small frogs that leap in the grass as you pass by.
Wood asters are in bloom in a delicate petaled white, while the tail end of the Jewelweed is still present with orange blossoms having grown just a little higher.
Fall may be heading our way, but don't rush it! Summer is still in bloom.

10:00 am conditions:

65.8 degrees F;
70% humidity;
Blue skies!, breeze;
rain yesterday (as of the airport readings) 0.04";
the Cascades Brook is running at 4.56";
the barometric pressure is 29.03" of Hg;
the USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.

The trails are in good shape, and the short section of the Cascades Trail here at Cascading Waters was cut back this weekend to make passage easier (while dispatching some invasive exotic Winged Euonymous at the same time.)

On the rainfall front, it has been a bumper crop for wet this month!

This month alone has seen 6.58" of rain! (usually it would be about just over 2.5"!!!)
The year to date rainfall is 38.47" (usually about 30"!!!)
127% of norm for the year, and 250% of norm for the month!!

So, enjoy the sun!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Yesterday's Rains

So, yesterday's rains still have the world soaked through.

A few interesting thoughts:
1.) It didn't rain a drop over by Lake Quinsigamond!
2.) It only rained 0.26" up at the airport, very nearby to the Lodge,
3.) And yet here we had deep standing water on bare ground and a stream flowing through the grass out back.

Pretty amazing, localized, and the world is more green this morning as a result.

Also fun, driving north on Olean Street/Reservoir Road (Holden side) there were downed limbs and an occasional tree from the passing torrent of a storm.

Presently at 8:45 am the conditions here are:
69 degrees;
77% humidity;
29.23" of Hg barometric pressure;
(The Rain gauge was OF COURSE out of order yesterday (my luck!));
The stream is running at 6" of flow (up from 4.8" early yesterday);
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE;
and there is only a gentle stirring of leaves.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Now THAT was a storm!

Numerous nearby lightning strikes!
Hail, more hail, and still more hail! (usually it lets up after a minute or two.)
Rain so fast and furious that the gutters couldn't keep up and water spilled along the entire length.
The glen out front was standing water and a stream ran through the backyard towards the driveway access.
The hail created diagonal patterns or ricocheting white off of the roof angles.
And even now, with the sun out, the rain over, everything is dripping furiously and the lightning still strikes nearby!

That was a storm!

Monday, July 25, 2011

A bit chillier

An enjoyable day for a hike.
At 8:20am, the temperature is 67.8 and steady.
The humidity is 84% and steady.
The pressure is 29.23 and steady.
Outside, it is a bit chilly.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A nice day for a hike!

The trail conditions at 8:30am are as follows
The temperature is 75.6 F and steady.
The humidity is 73% and steady.
The pressure is 29.18 and steady.
The brook level is unreadable, though there is still water.
The fire danger is LOW!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nice Day!

At 5:44 pm, the,
temperature is 70.5 degrees and falling,
humidity is 60 % and rising,
pressure is 29.29 and steady.
A nice day for a hike!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

At 8:02 the
TEMPERATURE is 70%F and steady,
HUMIDITY is 98 and steady,
PRESSURE is 29.00 and steady.
It is a nice sunny day and the birds are singing.
The fire danger is LOW.

Monday, June 06, 2011


8:40 a.m. conditions at the Lodge:

63.1 degrees F and rising;
75% humidity and falling;
29.23" of Hg pressure and steady;
5" of flow in the Cascades Brook;
wind is stirring the leaves but no reading on the anemometer;
blue skies;
yesterday we observed some showers, but nothing to generate a reading on the rain gauge, up at the airport they got a reading of 0.01" so I don't feel so bad.

Most interestingly, when I went down to check the brook level I noted two odd things.
First, there was a car pulled over by the side of Olean Street (and folks don't just park there.) I also saw cars heading north driving really slowly. All of this peaked my curiosity so I went farther than the brook gauge.

And there I saw a gentleman step out of his car and confidently pick up a large snapping turtle by one of its legs and carry it across the street to deposit it on the other side.

To know it is a snapping turtle, and then to pick it up and carry it off means one thing to my mind. This guy used to play in the woods and by ponds when he was a kid. Well, that play paid off big time for the turtle.

The car that had stopped earlier had another good Samaritan who was making sure that folks didn't hit the turtle and she was out of her car on sentry.

This turtle adventure across Olean has happened before, and generally means that the turtle is a female looking for a place to lay her eggs. We wish her, and them, luck.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

National Trails Day!

That's right folks!
It is National Trails Day!

Go out, hike, enjoy the woods this weekend!

As for us and the GWLT crew,
We will all be parking up on Goddard Memorial Drive and hiking down to Deed Rock, and then hiking portions of the Tetasset Hills Trail in a roughly 3 mile out and back.
Smaller hikes will be provided as will maps!

4-7pm, Parking at the Heinrich Building on Goddard Memorial Drive.
Please come!

As for the weather conditions...

7:35 a.m. saw:

57.5 degrees F and rising;
53% humidity and falling;
29.26" of Hg pressure and steady;
5.4" of flow in the Cascades Brook;
0 mph wind reading, but the leaves are stirring with light movement;
No rainfall in the last 24 hours;
LOW Fired Danger by the USFS (but we are right on the line for MODERATE).

At least hike somewhere, even for a few minutes,
And if you can, please join us!

Friday, June 03, 2011

And then the Calm Broke

7:45 a.m. conditions at the Lodge:

29.18" of Hg pressure and steady;
53.4 degrees F and steady;
59% humidity and falling;
0-1.5 mph winds with a fairly constant movement of air;
6.8" of flow in the Cascades Brook;
LOW USFS Fire Danger Class (though the Moderate is creeping up on us...);
Blue skies.

So yesterday's post ended with little to no wind and a calm, and then the colder air came through, winds picked up, and there were some considerable gusts! At one point in the afternoon there was a sharp CRACK, but then no THUD.... Turns out that a hanging/leaning tree (still alive) form one of this winter's storms was finally convinced to come down in one of the powerful gusts. It took a dead standing ash tree with it as it went over. They both came to obstruct the Cascades Trail as it runs from Olean to Cataract. Both were cut, such that a section was removed, with a bow saw to clear the trail and the path up to the Lodge.

The development next door continues. There was a satisfying moment this morning when I went to fetch the paper and the excavator operator was out with a large hammer beating on the end attachment which appeared to not be properly seated or functioning somehow. Seeing him slamming away at the working end of the excavator while it sat in Neutral made me smile.

This Saturday is NATIONAL TRAILS DAY!!!!

The section of woods and wetlands, brooks and cliffs, cellar holes and Deed Rock will all be on display for the public to enjoy!

The event will run on Saturday from 4pm-7pm, and parking will be up on Goddard Memorial Drive at the rear Heinrich building parking lot. Direction will be provided down to the Deed Rock and food area! If you RSVP to Mary at, or at 508-795-3838, food will be made available to you! There will be historical info, led walks, maps, and good cheer with the great volunteers who have gotten this magnificent trail into top shape for the event.

Please come!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Calm after the storm

7:40 a.m. conditions at the Lodge:

Light breeze, no reading;
59.7 degrees F and steady;
87% humidity and steady;
29.00" of Hg and steady;
blue skies;
7.6" of flow in the Cascades Brook (surging to 7.8");
LOW USFS Fire Danger Class;
Yesterday's rainfall totals from the Worcester Airport 1.52";
Yesterday we also saw hail here at the Lodge.

It is cooler, and generally more pleasant today than yesterday's wild ending.

Need to check but my belief is that the rain barrel which was bone dry is likely refilled to overflowing.

And yesterday there was not the need to head out and water the plants and trees as that was well provided for from the sky.

No downed tree or limb damage to speak of.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sun (for the moment!)

11:22 a.m. conditions at the Lodge:

73.6 degrees F and rising;
90% humidity and steady;
29.32" of Hg and steady;
5" of flow in the Cascades Brook;
1.0-1.5 mph wind;
LOW USFS Fire Danger Class;
and glorious sun at the moment.

About 9 a.m. showers moved through, making the world damp, but not really soaking things so that they are really watered. The storm has moved back out again and sun and replaced the dark grey overcast skies of before.

Yesterday there was more planting of trees for screening the construction site. We are now up to 11 trees on the bound line. In addition there was a movement of various rocks on site to make a line of large stone along the boundary line as far as the trees are planted as a visual cue to the construction crews when they finally turn their attention to working right up to their northern bound. It is hard to be careful and precise with large earth equipment (unless you have an expert operator) and any visual cues you can use are a help. This is particularly true as they have failed to maintain the silt fences around the construction site in accordance with the Conservation Commission's Order of Conditions, and that silt fence was the previous visual cue as to the bound line, in addition to keeping storm silt from moving off site.

Yesterday's census on the Morning glories found 6 plants and the heat appears to be a real help to the development of those plants. Here is hoping they make it.

Also yesterday saw a decent amount of hiking and mountain biking thru traffic. It was a good day to be out and about, and suddenly today looks like it will have its moments as well.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cool and Overcast

8:45 a.m. conditions:

68 degrees F and steady;
90% humidity and steady (it is practically misting at moments);
29.32" of Hg pressure and steady;
5" of flow in the Cascades Brook;
light occasional breeze w/o a reading;
LOW is the USFS Fire Danger Class;
overcast skies.

The efforts with the Morning glories hit a serious setback the other night.
2 packages of seeds, carefully planted, regularly watered, has resulted thus far in only 4 plants.
In my daily inspection of the plants I discovered that one was viciously attacked overnight by a heartless slug.
I am happy to say that after having been watered and another night it appears the Morning glory will survive this brutality.

When heading down to the Cascades Brook to read the meter for brook flow I disturbed a garter snake, very nearly 2' long!, that was resting by the side of the brook.

Yesterday became hot and uncomfortable near the end and it was wonderful to have cool weather move in and provide wonderful sleeping weather.

Yes, the construction is still smashing, digging, and pushing away in a loud metallic din, though they started a little later (8:30 a.m.) in honor of the holiday.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Beautiful morning...

Conditions as of 7:35 a.m.:

Hazy sunshine;
No wind recorded, no leaves stirring;
65.1 degrees F and steady;
94% humidity and steady;
29.23" of Hg pressure and steady;
5.2" of flow in the Cascades Brook;
LOW USFS Fire Danger Class.

Yesterday another Eastern red cedar was planted along the southern bound line with the work project. Problem was that it was an endless hole of rocks. It took as long to dig that one hole as it took to dig most of the previous 7. In the end we had a decent hole with decent soil, and a seriously impressive pile of rocks!

Last evening as the front was passing through we had some excellent wind here at the Lodge. We were registering 6.5 mph gusts, but remember that we are at the bottom of a cliff and surrounded by trees, o in order to get to that reading there is a LOT of wind moving around.

This morning the song birds are in their glory with all sorts of songs. (And as yet... no construction noises...)
{Spoke too soon by SECONDS!}

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sun with Haze

7:30 a.m. conditions:

Cascades Brook is running at 5.4";
Temperature is 59.7 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 90% and steady;
Pressure is 29.21" and steady;
No wind or movement;
Hazy skies with sun;
USFS Fire Danger is LOW.

And yes, the construction equipment is moving already.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

9:05 a.m. Conditions: SUN!

That is right, the sun is out, and the skies are blue and it is glorious!

9:05 a.m. Conditions:
29.18" of Hg pressure and steady;
65.8 degrees F and rising;
73% humidity and falling;
5.6" of flow in the Cascades Brook;
Sun, blue skies;
Light breeze, but not registering a velocity;
USFS Fire Danger is LOW.

Yes, the banging earth machines are at it next door. Yesterday a visitor asked if they were creating a quarry, and I have to admit that at this second that is a fair question!

It is beautiful outside, the birds wholeheartedly concur, so head on out if it is at all possible today!

Monday, May 23, 2011

More Rain... sorta...

8:30 a.m. conditions:

Overcast grey skies, with a wet ground, but not actively raining;
Temperature of 50.9 degrees F and steady;
Humidity of 95% and steady;
Pressure of 29.32" of Hg and steady;
No recorded wind movement;
Cascades Brook is running at 5.6"; and
USFS Fire Danger Class of Low.

The development project to our south continues in its Xth year (honestly losing track at this point) with lots of noisy clanging of steel on the earth moving equipment.

* * * * *

On a seriously more uplifting note in general and for the Trust, last week saw the Trust receive a Conservation Partnership Grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Division of Conservation Services to preserve 12.83 acres of land adjacent to Green Hill Park and to preserve a trail easement down to Lake Quinsigamond along the Coal Mine Brook!

(Or in short:
"GWLT got a CPG from EOEEA's DCS for 12.83ac. next to GHPk and a tr. easmnt. to Lk. Q. along the CMBk."
And yes... GWLT will end up with a CR.
Life in acronym land!)

Once the deal is completed there will be a continuous, permanently preserved trail from Shrewsbury Street behind the bandstand to Lake Quinsigamond that crosses two streets and one internal park road. This project commenced sometime in 1996-7.
15-16 years and a seriously intense soap opera results in a 3.5 mi. trail from downtown to the Lake!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

No Rain... More Trees

Today has been overcast all day, and while we have been spared more rain, it is hard to celebrate when there was no sun to speak of. It might as well have rained if it weren't for the fact that the downtown art festival was spared.

Conditions as of 6:00 p.m. (a rare evening conditions report!):

The Cascades Brook is flowing at 5.8";
The Temperature is 57.6 degrees F and steady;
The Humidity is 75% and steady;
The Pressure is 29.41" of Hg and steady;
The Windspeed is pretty steady with a range from 1.0-3.5 mph;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.

Yesterday 3 trees were planted along the southern property line as future screening of the development going in. We chose a mix of Eastern red cedar, White pine, and White spruce. Each is coniferous, keeping a green screen all year. Each is Asian Long Horned Beetle resistant (important here in the USDA Federal Quarantine area). Each is naturally found in Worcester County, and the nursery sourcing them is local as well. Today an additional 4 more trees were planted. The newly operational rain barrel is very helpful for watering the transplanted trees and helping them get established.

A week and a half ago I also planted seeds for Morning glories down on Olean Street in the hopes that they might run up the guy lines to the telephone pole, and up the telephone pole itself. I have tried this twice before with only abject failure to show for it. Then the heavens opened and there was rain after rain after rain, and sadly Morning glories do not like to be over watered. Alas... not helpful. But then! This morning! I am deeply suspicious I saw a number of leaves from shoots popping up. Yes, they were sickly yellow, but there they were! Perhaps, just perhaps, we might see Morning glories after all.

So, the brook is still flowing nicely, even as the charge recedes, the world is growing along nicely, and little by little things are slowly drying out.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sign is up!

11:00 am conditions:

64.9 degrees F and rising;
81% humidity and falling (it was 87% just two hours ago);
29.91" of Hg pressure and steady;
partial cloud/partial sun;
light stir of breeze, but nothing recordable in speed;
Cascades Brook is down to 6.0";
USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE.

A couple of fun observations.

1. The girl scout troop returned to put in place the fire danger sign they worked on (and a few of the parent chipped in with moving the beast of a timber frame that it hung in.) They did a fabulous job! Thanks girls!

2. The brook is slowing down without constant input of rain, and the second channel is still flowing but the volume is definitely slowing more rapidly.

3. After a week and a half of clouds and rain the sun is a glorious addition!

4. 15 trees arrived yesterday for screening the subdivision being built to the south. (Thanks to Mary Caulway for treking out to Gill, MA to get the trees) And they are fine looking trees, locally grown, of species found in Worcester County (Thanks Sudbury Nursery for the help on rustling up some stock for us (they usually work with big orders only.)) These need to get planted real soon.

Friday, May 20, 2011

More Notes From the Temperate Rainforest

Yesterday the Cascades Brook was at 6.2",
Today the Cascades Brook is back up to 6.4",
and the brook is loud and the Cascades are flowing!

Steady rain input day after day has put the rooted vegetation on super overdrive in growth!

Yesterday out on Olean Street during one of the drier periods we saw a tan rabbit with a bright cottontail hopping around.

Current Conditions at 7:35 a.m.:
Grey, overcast, with no active precipitation,
54.9 degrees F and steady;
98% humidity and steady;
29.21" of Hg pressure and steady;
no wind;
the USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW (But I would say NONE!, not that they asked);

A funny reflection about the stream depths:
Yes, we watch the depths and it is sort of neat to give a rough sense of when the second channel opens, when the Cascades are roaring, when we are experiencing flooding, and how big a deal any particular storm was in the overall landscape. This week it had a new purpose. We were to the NNE of Cascading Waters at Kinneywoods looking at new trail alignments. That property has a bowl like shape with streams running in from the edges to a central wetland and how you route the trail is all about where the good crossings are for the streams. We were out there looking at flow that was higher than what the dutiful Intern had seen up to that point, and we could see areas scoured of leaf litter from the spring floods to see where the high flow marks were. The question was, how often, or how unusual is the water level we were presently seeing. Is this a norm to plan around, or an exceptional circumstance we need to work hard to cross securely? And having tracked stream depths at Cascades Brook for years now I can honestly say that I had a sense of the proper answer to that question intuitively. That is pretty cool! It turns out this ridiculous logging adventure that we enjoy has real-life applications in the field. Go figure!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Life in the Temperate Rainforest

Dang is it damp!

98% humidity,
and that only sort of covers the craziness!

It has been so damp and so rainy for so long that objects aren't wet, they aren't damp, they are absolutely saturated!
If you didn't have firewood under cover, forgetaboutit.

Last night we had a fire, more for cutting through the dampness than heat.
This is especially key as we needed to dry some laundry.

But more cool is what this does out there in the forest!
It is vivid green!
The growth over the last 36 hours of everything from leaves to grass is nothing short of phenomenal!
It is WILD out there!
The plants are soaking it up and running rampant!

Conditions as of 7:55 a.m.:
98% humidity and steady;
47.8 degrees F and steady;
29.29" of humidity and steady;
no wind;
6.4" of flow in the Cascades Brook;
the Cascades are gently running and the second stream channel is open;
USFS Fire Danger Class is "LOW" (Perhaps with a blow torch, a bellows, and nuclear fuel).

As for the stream,
Yesterday was also 6.4" of flow,
But bear in mind that in order to have consistent flow in a dominantly rain fed system you need steady rainfall as an input.
We have had that!

The rain gauge is still giving me weird readings like 0.67" of rain in 36 hours and I just don't buy it.
I have not, however, gotten the graduated cylinder out there yet either.
So lets say plenty and assume that the 0.767" is a minimum value.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Another nice morning

7:15 am

Cascades Brook is at 5.4";
Occasional light breeze;
50.2 degrees F and rising;
75% humidity and falling;
29.12" Hg of pressure and steady;
Yesterday's rain registered .2", and another .04 fell since midnight
(I am a little circumspect of these readings and will pullout the old analog rain gauge;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is not surprisingly NONE.

We have red trillium in bloom, and the Trout lily is still in bloom.

This weekend I made another vain attempt to grow Morning glories up the guy lines of the utility pole by the trail head. I persist in trying, but have yet to see any success. I did manage to get some poison ivy in trying though! A week or two from now and we either have a measure of success or so passes another year. I am entranced by the prospect of flowering plants hiding the utility pole supports instead of bittersweet or grape vine (or poison ivy).

The breeze has started to pick up a little since the measurements and the dappled light in the house and on the forest floor is in motion.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Another sign complete

The outside frame for another sign was completed today!
This one will be going up on Olean Street on the Cascading Waters property.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Trout Lily!

The Trout Lily have bloomed!

These are native lilies, and their leaves are an interesting dark color with mottled lighter greeen spots all over. The flowers themselves are yellow, with red accents and an occasional purple accent. Like most of our native flowers they are small, but right now there are enough of them along the banks and woods of Cascading Waters where you really won't miss them!

As of 2pm:
The Cascades Brook is flowing at 5.2";
The increasing cloud cover is drivingdown the temperature to 69.1 degrees and falling;
The humidity is 37% and steady;
The barometric pressure is 29.44" of Hg;
The wind moves from time to time but is presently not registering;
The USFS Fire Danger status is MODERATE.

Cloudy is the watchword for now, tonight, and tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


There is a mist hanging amongst the trees this morning. It isn't actively raining, but it is certainly wet.
There's green moving in everywhere you look, as a consequence: the skunk cabbage is well up and established, there are dandelions trying their luck here and there, and even the trees have the faintest mist of green on the end of the branches. And the moss is very, very happy!
At nine am, it is 53.2 degrees and rising
98% humidity and steady
The barometer is at 29.23 inches of mercury and steady.
The stream is at 5.5 inches.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter Morn!

Yesterday evening was cool to cold and blustery with spitting rain.
Then last night a warm wind settled in.

Setting up this morning!

After having been well watered the world is bursting forth in green!
The carpet of blood root are dominating the forest floor, and the wet leaves are darkened with moisture setting off the colors vividly.

Ferns have popped up over night.

The grass has a sort of hyper chlorophyll green.

To add to all of that we ended up with a northern flicker (a type of woodpecker) with a lemon yellow belly, a bright red cap, and a black and white wing feather pattern that looks grey from a distance. The colors were so distinct that I dared not use the camera on my lap for fear of missing some of the chance to catch sight of the bird while it was nearby.

The weather is at 7:55 a.m.:
57.9 degrees F and rising;
98% humidity!! and steady;
29.23" of Hg pressure and rising;
bright sunshine;
no wind or breeze;
the USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE.

The Cascades are running with the recent rains and the sound of the running water is distinct.

In short, there probably could not be a more fantastic morning to be out in the woods in the spring.

The Cascades Brook is flowing at 6.2"

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cloudy morning

This morning as of 9:10 am, the
Temperature is 48.7 F and steady.
Humidity is 73% and steady.
Pressure is 29.35 and steady.
Brook level is 6.2 and surging up to 6.4.
The sky is overcast and threatening showers.
The air is still.
The ground is covered with native Blood root which are the white flowers thaat are in bloom.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cascades ROARING!

Last night we had approximately 2" of rain.
That is ALOT of rain for one night,
and that was on top of the spring time swollen wetlands up in the Cascades.
As a result the Cascades Brook is at 1'4"!
The Cascades are a white frothy swollen torrent,
and you can hear it throughout the woods.

Presently it is 9:18 am and the conditions are:

57.7 degrees F and rising;
79% humidity and falling;
28.82" of mercury and falling;
The air is still;
there is bright sunshine periodically broken by a passing cloud;
the USFS fire danger was MODERATE,
but at the moment I would say that it is LOW to NONE.

Get out there and enjoy the day!

The new steps on the switchback up the Cascades should help, and the parking area is open after the recent driveway reconstruction here at the lodge.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Repair underway! UPDATED with photos

And if you're local and have any construction-mad little people in your house, come hang out on the lower end of the Cascades trail this morning. We have a dump truck (and loads of gravel are NOISY!) and a backhoe working here.

 As of 4 pm, they were gone for the day, but they'll be back tomorrow to smooth things out a bit more.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Parking area CLOSED Monday

If you came by earlier today, you may have found cones up, blocking off the driveway. This afternoon, the backhoe was dropped off, and they'll be starting the work regrading the driveway tomorrow. Thus we ask that if you come by to hike tomorrow, please do not use the parking area at the Lodge: please park on Cataract, or down the street at the other end of the Cascades trail.
Many thanks! And enjoy tomorrow's fine weather!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Clark University is Here!

We have some Clark University students here this morning, doing some trail and sign work on the Cascades parkland. We're getting some new posts worked on, replacing some repainted signs, and putting up some new ones. Thanks to Clark University for their great volunteers!
It is a LOVELY day to be out and about; get outside!
At noon, it is 56.8 degrees and still rising.
35% humidity and steady
The barometer is at 29.47 inches of mercury and steady under blue, sunny skies.

If you do get out on the trails this weekend, we would always appreciate a report of anything you find!

(Apologies, as an earlier post misidentified the volunteers on account of the bright purple t-shirts they wore.)

Friday, April 08, 2011


Bright and sunny out this morning!
At nine-thirty, it is 43 degrees and rising (even as I watch!).
42% humidity and steady
29.62 inches of mercury and steady
We've got some college students coming in to do a work project tomorrow, so don't be surprised if you run into workers out on the Cascades trails this weekend!

Thursday, April 07, 2011


We have daffodils working their way up through the leaves down by the sign, and a high of the mid-fifties is forecasted today!
If you've got a hankering to do some outside work, come by: we're out doing work on signs until 11:30 today.
At nine am, it is 38.7 degrees and rising under sunny skies.
52% humidity
The barometer is at 29.44 inches of mercury and steady.
The stream is 5.6 inches and burbling merrily along.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sunny and cold

('though, come to think of it, we've really got to pull down that snowy sign logo)
At 8 am, it is 31.1 degrees and rising
63% humidity and steady
29.44 inches of mercury and steady
We have no rain, no wind, and sunny clear skies.
The brook is at 5.6 inches

Monday, March 07, 2011

afternoon melting update

We've got a bit less water around now, and what we have is back in where it should be. Most notably, the DPW came and cleared out the culvert above the house, so we no longer have water running down the driveway. The driveway is now passable by foot, if not by car.
There is no longer water running under the house.
There is LOTS of water running down the hill and down the stream. The Cascades are roaring (you can hear them in the house), and again, if you haven't seen them running, come by!
Over the course of today, we saw rain, sun, snow, and some freezing wind. Must be March!

Just one big stream today on Twitpic

Just one big stream today on Twitpic

Cascade Brook on Twitpic

Cascade Brook on Twitpic


Spring melt is HERE!
The Cascades are ROARING, and there's so much water we can't get to the stream measurement. The three stream beds have merged, and there's water all over the place (including rapidly washing out the driveway, which we're working on, and the parking area, so don't park there with anything short!). We've also got a stream under the house.
If you've never seen the Cascades in full spate, today's the day! We'll try to get some photos up over the course of the day.
At 7:30, it is 48.6 degrees and steady.
98% humidity and steady: raining.
28.79 inches of mercury and falling

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


We've got sun and a breeze today, so that should keep those snow piles shrinking!
At 9:30 am, it is 39.2 degrees and rising.
Humidity is at 53% and steady.
The barometer is 29.29 inches of mercury and steady.
The stream is running steadily through the snowbanks, and you can catch glimpses of fast-moving water coming down the Cascades under the snow.

For those of you looking for a way to help out the Trust (but maybe not outside), know that the volunteers are mustering tomorrow at noon at the GWLT offices at 101 Water Street, 4th floor. We've got a mailing to put together. If you're coming, please RSVP (so there's enough lunch!).

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

We have WATER!

This is not the spring melt.
It has, however, been warm enough for several days to mean that WE HAVE A STREAM again! The Cascades are running under, through, and around the snow. As the next few days don't look to get cold enough to refreeze it all, expect more water to be coming down the hill soon.
In other good news, a skunk ran across the road in front of my car late last night. As skunks are winter sleepers, but wake up in early spring to find a mate, hang on: spring is coming!
At noon it is sunny and 39 degrees, with 39% humidity, and the barometer steady at 29.5 inches of mercury.

Monday, February 14, 2011


The flashing snowflake, signifying "freeze," is NOT on our display today. It is 43.3 degrees at 9 am, and it is RISING!
The barometer is falling (at 28.79 presently).
It's 52% humidity and steady.
If this keeps up (as it's supposed to), we'll keep an eye on the Cascades. A few days of this, and we'll be hearing from them!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Photo invasion

An adult class of photographers from the Worcester Art Museum went out on snowshoes today. They'd come for the Cascades, but as the Cascades are right now a snowy hill, they instead went over to Cook's Pond. They saw some islands, took some photos by the dam, and returned here for cocoa and cookies by the fire.
Should any of the class have photos to share, we'd welcome them here!

Monday, February 07, 2011


Just barely edging over freezing here this morning at 8:30: we're showing 32.2 degrees, but RISING.
82% humidity out there, so clearly there's water in the air coming off the snow.
The barometer is at 29.32 and steady. Enjoy it, as the next round of winter weather comes in tonight. The latest forecast I've seen said 2-4 inches this time.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Warmer and thus busy

It's warmer today (at (9:30, we're breaking 35 already), and thus we're seeing lots of animals out. We woke up to a flock of robins (no, they don't all go south), the squirrels have been raiding the birdfeeder, and we threw some seed out for the chickadees, nuthatches, and such.
The big excitement of the morning, though, was a spotting of the local piliated woodpecker. Big guy (about the size of a crow) over on the entrance to the Cascades trail!
Expect all this sun to soften up the snow, so it will be tough slogging on the trails.

Monday, January 31, 2011

There is parking...for now

Sorry, we've been rather swamped with shoveling. Just a quick note to say that as of RIGHT NOW, there are nearly two whole parking spots shoveled out for hikers and snowshoers.
We make no promises for the rest of the week, however!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MORE Snow!

10:30 a.m. conditions at the Lodge at Cascading Waters!

MORE Snow!
We will have to get out there and try to find a way to measure the new snowfall without the older snows a bit later.

29.38" of Hg pressure and falling (stormy);
18.3 degrees F and rising (still a long way to freezing!);
81% humidity and steady;
snowing and overcast;
no measurable wind registering on the anemometer;
USFS web site is down, but let's just call the Fire Danger "None" for arguments sake!;
The Cascades Brook and Cascades are more or less buried at present.

Hope to trek around a bit later on snow shoes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Noon update!

We've just shoveled out the end of the driveway. It seems the city is doing its utmost to be sure the road to the water plant is open; it's very busy on Olean Street with plows. As you can see from the sign (above), the road has been cleared a great deal overnight and this morning.

There's about a foot out there now, more in the drifts. We've also had the wind pick up a bit.
At noon, it is 26.2 degrees and rising.
77% humidity and falling
28.61 inches of mercury and falling
Snowing steadily.


Count this as the storm that actually panned out!
Snow started falling at about midnight here, and we've got about six inches, drifting higher in parts, here at 9:30. Very light fluffy snow.
The brook is still running through the snow.
It is 25.3 degrees and steady
88% humidity and snow falling
0 mph of wind currently, 'though it kicks up now and then
The barometer is now at 28.64 inches and falling, so there's more coming!

Stay safe, and bring out those skis, snowshoes, and sleds!
And Joe, we'll see about getting you a new photo!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Belated, but with bonus night readings!

The conditions were dutifully recorded this morning at 8:42 a.m., and then went into my pocket where they spent the day. Alas. Here they are at last:

18.5 degrees F and rising;
68% humidity and falling;
29.53" of Hg and steady;
no precipitation measured;
Occasional light breeze maxing out at 1.5 MPH;
USFS Fire Danger is NONE;
The Cascades are continuing to build up ice!;
The Brook isn't presently measurable due to ice on the gauge;
The sky is full of sun and you would never know a storm system was coming.

Now it is on the flip side, 8:04 p.m., and here is where we are presently at:

26.4 degrees F and steady;
61% humidity and steady;
29.35" of Hg pressure and steady;
still no precipitation;
Light breeze maxing at 2 MPH;
and dark as night!

We await the storm and hope not to be disappointed again!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Just as I headed out now with a basket of laundry,* the resident red-tailed hawk swooped low over the house. I suspect he's keeping an eye on the birdfeeders.
And a little woodpecker (a downy, I think) cheeped away at me, between banging on a tree, the whole time I was outside.

*for you skeptics out there: yes, it's entirely possible to dry laundry outside when it's (just) 32. The trick is that there's wind.

More Sun!

Conditions at 8:12 a.m.;

Sun in a blue sky with patchy clouds;
20.3 degrees F and rising;
61% humidity and falling;
29.32" of Hg pressure and rising;
no rain registered overnight;
Breezy gusting to 4 MPH;
USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE;
the brook is flowing but the measuring stick is partly obscured by ice;
the Cascades continue to build up a coat of ice.

Nice day for a hike if you are properly dressed.
The snow makes steep surfaces slippery, have footwear with good traction.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

After the Snow...Sun!

One of the glorious things about a snow storm is that they are frequently followed by a day of intense sun. In this case no warmth, but definitely sun.

The snowfall added around an inch and a half around the Lodge.

The conditions as of 4:41 p.m. were:
26.4 degrees F and steady;
54% humidity and steady;
29.06" of Hg pressure and rising;
occasional gusts of wind up to 3.5 MPH;
USFS Fire Danger Rating of NONE;
sun setting in a mostly clear sky.

While there are some tracks from hikers and dogs, it is also interesting to see the tracks of squirrels, mice, voles, and birds in the fresh snows. You can't help but be a tracker as you try to interpret what on earth was going on in the glen.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Dusting Overnight

Conditions at the Lodge t 9:35 a.m.

The Cascades Brook is running steady at 4.4";
The Cascades are continuing their icing;
The temperature is 24.4 degrees F and steady;
The humidity is 76% and steady;
The pressure is 28.76" of Hg and steady;
The skies are overcast with very light snowfall;
There is an occasional light breeze but nothing registering as for MPH;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW;
Snowfall looks to be just over 1" in depth.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Changing Weather

Conditions at the Lodge at Cascading Waters as of 8:20 a.m.:

28.85" of Hg pressure and steady (registering signs of stormy weather);
20.5 degrees F and steady;
59% humidity and steady;
The Cascading Brook is running at 4.4" (but the reading is approximate with ice frozen to the meter);
No wind is registering on the anemometer;
No precipitation in the last 24 hours;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW;
The sky is partly clear with a blanket of high altitude clouds, and the sun is trying to burn its way through, and for the moment looks to be losing;
and the Cascades are icing over with water flowing as well.

The ground is definitely frozen out there!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Bright, Bright, Sunshiny Day

7:39 a.m. Conditions at the Lodge at Cascading Waters:

22.6 degrees F and steady;
77% humidity and steady;
29.03" of Hg pressure and steady;
4.6" of flow in the Cascades Brook;
The Cascades are running and slowly accreting a sheet of ice;
The USFS Fire Danger is LOW;
The ground, and recent mud, is frozen hard;
No observable or measurable breeze;
No rainfall in the last day;
The sky is clear blue, and the sun is blazing away on the horizon!

Glorious morning!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Frozen and Blue

8:10 a.m. conditions at Cascading Waters:

The Cascades are running and ice is re-forming;
The Cascades Brook is down slightly to 5" of flow;
The pressure is at 29.32" of Hg and rising;
The temperature is at 26.1 degrees F and steady;
The humidity is back down to 49% and is steady;
During the observation period the wind was consistently at 2.5 MPH or greater and reached 5.5 MPH;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE;
The skies are blue with wispy high altitude cloud;
The muddy patches of trail are frozen solid.

Cook's Pond is working hard to refreeze after looking like a series of surface puddles on ice yesterday.

Interesting Note: Saturday wasn't just warm, it was record warm. We tied the previous high of 58 degrees F from 1892!

If properly bundled it is a nice day out there.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Grey, Drizzly, Warm

Well, at least it is warm.

1:52 p.m. conditions:
47.5 degrees F and steady;
90% humidity and steady;
29.18" of Hg pressure and falling;
the Cascades Brook is running strong at 5.4" (up considerably even from the over 4" yesterday!);
the air is still with little shifting every so often, o MPH;
the sky is grey but broken into patches of low and high altitude cover;
the USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW;
somehow the rain never mounted strong enough to register on the rain gauge, there has been mist, fog, and drizzle, but no real rain to tip the gauge.

The Cascades are running, and the ice floe is breaking up with the warmth and the warmer waters.

The trails are all open, but very very wet, and in some spots the soil is very deep and mucky, so waterproof footwear is an absolute must.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


We hit the mid-fifties here today; we hope you got out to enjoy them!
We're just back from a tramp through the slush: up the Holden trail to the far end of the Cascades trail, up the Cascades trail to the Newton trail, and back down to Cataract Street. It's clear that there's been much traffic out on the trails: everything is slush covered, muddy, and/or downright wet. You'll want the waterproof boots, and if you're heading out tomorrow, expect that all to be crunchy!
The brook is running at 4.5 inches under ice. The Cascades are well worth a trip by; they're frozen, but running underneath.
Enjoy the warmth!