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.

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.