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, 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!

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