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.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Grey Day after the Rains

Unlike yesterday's start, of heavy rains, today is cool, grey, and generally pleasant.

The biggest benefits are soils that aren't fine dry dust, and a brook that has FLOW! of Water! magnificent!

This morning is a sign and timberwork day here at the Lodge!






Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 54.5 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 74% and steady;
Pressure is 29.94" of Hg and steady;
Skies are grey;
The air and leaves are moving quite a bit, but the higest recorded windspeed in the observation period was 1.0 mph;
The Cascades Brook has flow!!!
The Cascades has a little water!!!
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly cloudy, with a high near 61.
Northeast wind 10 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

Monday, September 28, 2015

More Sunny, Dry, Cool Weather

It is and has been very dry.
That might change on Tuesday night though.
The National Weather Service has a warning issued for Tuesday night:

PERSISTENT NE-WINDS FOR THE PERIOD WITH POTENTIAL FOR GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH. CONSIDERING FULLY LEAFED TREES...THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY FOR WIND DAMAGE WITH DOWNED TREE...TREE LIMBS...AND POWER LINES. FOCUS IS MOST ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE EAST AND SOUTHEAST COASTAL PLAIN OF MASSACHUSETTS AND RHODE ISLAND. MODERATE CONFIDENCE.

LOCALIZED HEAVY RAIN IS ALSO POSSIBLE LEADING TO FLOODING IMPACTS. THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR RAINFALL AMOUNTS UPWARDS OF 4-INCHES. LOW CONFIDENCE.

What actually happens is anyone's guess at this point.

Also, rain is good, whereas flooding... not so much.

8:00 a.m. Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters (elevation 630'):

Temperature is 54°F and steady;
Humidity is 87% and steady;
Pressure is 30.15" of Hg and steady;
Skies are clear;
There is air movement but no speed registering;
The Cascades Brook is dry;
The Cascades are dry;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MEDIUM.

National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 77.
Light west wind becoming southwest 5 to 9 mph in the morning.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Another Perfect Morning!

These tailing days of summer have been wonderful!
Cool, sunny, and not too humid.


Tractor 4 Worcester

GWLT now has 3 farms, Sibley, Donker, and Worcester Hospital.
We have logging roads and silviculture (tree harvesting.)
We have long networks of trails on big properties.

And at this point, having a tractor based here in Worcester is becoming a real need.

Take a Ride through the Trust Neighborhood with Executive Director Colin Novick and check out how a tractor would be really helpful for the Trust!


And then pop over here to help chip in!
https://www.razoo.com/story/Tractor-4-Worcester?referral_code=share


Yesterday was the United Way Day of Caring, and we had two amazing crews out at Sibley Farm. They hauled a lot of tools and gear. The built a tent platform from lumber to finish in no time at all. They built a door for the composting outhouse, hung it on hinges, and installed latches. They hauled in and unpacked the composter and began the install, including cutting a 12" diameter hole through 1" boards with a pocket saw! They refinished the outhouse and new platform in wood preservative. It was a full day!

A special thanks to Gordon, Mary, and Colin who were the GWLT project chefs on site that made the labors of many hands come together in so many simultaneous efforts.






Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):
Temperature is 63.3 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 86% and steady;
Pressure is 29.91" of Hg and steady;
The wind is still;
Skies are clear;
The Cascades have no flow;
The Cascades Brook has no flow;
The USGS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


National Weather Service Forecast:


Mostly sunny, with a high near 85. Southwest wind 3 to 7 mph.



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Beautiful Late Summer Morning & Cascades West Anniversary

It is simply wonderful outside.
Cool but not cold, and still short sleeve weather.
Humidity isn't terrible either.
Everything is green and lush, but there is a hint of turning leaves to yellow from the prolonged low level drought of missing rain (about 5").


Today is the Anniversary of the preservation of Cascades West, with the hill top, the amphitheatre, the grove of beech trees, and the vernal pools.

Prior to the preservation of Cascades West, all there was was Boynton Park and Cascades Park on Cataract Street. Sure some folks walked through the area, but it was two isolated parks that didn't connect as conservation land.
It was the belt that was created that inspired all that followed...
Cascades East...
Cascading Waters...
Cook's Pond...
Southwick Pond Brook...
Muir Meadow...
Cook's Brook...
Donker Farm...
all of that was to come, and all of that took shape with the linking of Boynton, Cascades West, and Cascades Park.

In a sense today is the birthday of the Four Town Greenbelt, as well as being the birthday of Cascades West.


Tomorrow is the United Way Day of Caring and we have teams coming to join us at Sibley Farm to work on projects on the vast property!
Today we prepare for that work.


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):
Temperature is 62.1 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 87% and steady;
Pressure is 30.18" of Hg and steady;
Skies are clear;
Wind is still;
Cascades have no flow;
Cascades Brook has no flow;
The USGS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 82. 
West wind 3 to 6 mph.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Cool, Breezy, Clear Skies!

A big weekend for the Trust!

Friday saw us install a property sign out at Elmer's Seat.

Saturday saw us out at Canalfest promoting public access and building a timber project.

Saturday night and a bit of Sunday saw the rains the forest and brooks so desperately need right now.

Today's cool and shifting winds make it an amazing day for getting outside and enjoying the late summer.


Cascading Waters Trailhead Conditions at 9:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 58.6 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 84% and steady;
Pressure is 29.74" of Hg and falling,
Skies are clear;
Wind is moving but not registering mph;
Cascades have no flow;
Cascades Brook has no flow;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Partly sunny, with a high near 67. 
West wind 13 to 15 mph.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Welcome Rains & a Property Sign Install!

Yesterday's rains are very very welcome!
The vegetation is absolutely responding!
The soils are no longer dust!
Though, leaves have started to fall, between the stress of the drought, and the closing of the summer season.


This morning we are headed out to Elmer's Seat to install a property sign at the Boylston property atop Pleasant Hill.

This small gem of a property has a wetland system, native plants, exposed bedrock, and a height that affords it views of Mount Wachusett. It is also a bit of an experiment for the Trust in that it is only a few acres in size and it is in a subdivision. The property is very photogenic, and undoubtedly any kids growing up with this spot in their neighborhood are lucky to have it set aside. The Trust came to hold this property through a gift from an investor in the subdivision. Today's sign will indicate an entrance for the neighbors so that it is accessible not just to the people whose backyard back up to the property.

We have a crew ready to drop in to Cascading Waters at 9 to load up, and we will head out!


Trailhead conditions at Cascading Waters:

Temperature is 60.3 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 95% and steady;
Pressure is 29.62" of Hg and steady;
Wind is moving but did not register in the observation period;
Skies are overcast;
Cascades Brook is not running;
Cascades are not flowing;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:


A slight chance of showers before 1pm.
Patchy fog before 11am.
Otherwise, cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 71.
North wind 8 to 10 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cloudier, Muggier, & Damper

Not so sure that last night's fleeting rains made any improvement in the overall weather this morning.

The plants and trees were desperate for water, and while this wasn't enough to fix that it sure helps to not have the soils as dust, and the leaves drooping.

On the upside, more storms are possible and a National Weather Service Advisory promises to help us not reach the temperature highs of the last few days.

THERE IS A LOW RISK FOR LOCALIZED URBAN AND POOR DRAINAGE
FLOODING ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE REGION THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT.
SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS WITH LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL
WILL DEVELOP ACROSS WESTERN AREAS DURING THIS AFTERNOON...THEN
PUSH EAST TONIGHT. THE HEAVIEST RAINFALL IS EXPECTED ACROSS NORTH
CENTRAL AND WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS INTO NORTHERN CONNECTICUT.

This means that we should end up with a livelier and happier forest by the time we are done with the series of passing storms, even assuming we only get a few of the possible showers predicted.


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters:

Temperature is 72 degrees and steady;
Humidity is 86% and steady;
Pressure is 29.77" of Hg and steady;
Skies are overcast;
Wind is still;
Cascades are dry;
The Cascades Brook is also dry;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

A chance of showers before 11am,
then a chance of showers and thunderstorms between 11am and 2pm,
then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 2pm.
Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 75.
Northeast wind 6 to 8 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 60%.
New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Pleasant & Quiet Morning at the Trailhead

Gentle wind stirring and then falling, under clear skies, and cool temps here at the Lodge.
A great Labor Day for getting outside.
Things have been quiet here at the trailhead as folks adventures and BBQs pull them elsewhere, but the woods are fantastic.

Enjoy Your Labor Day!


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 10:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 75.4 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 49% and falling;
Pressure is 29.94" of Hg and steady;
Wind is stirring but not registering mph;
The sky is clear;
The Cascades are dry;
The Cascades Brook is dry;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


National Weather Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 88. 
West wind 9 to 11 mph.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Clear & Cool Start to Labor Day Weekend

What a great sleeping weather evening!
& What a great clear and cool start to the weekend!
Labor Day Weekend is off to a great start!

Yesterday we got field reports in from Southwick Pond.



Other than needing to choose your footing in a few spots to avoid poison ivy things are in good shape out there.



Trailhead conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:35 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 58.6 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 81% and steady;
Pressure is 30.15" of Hg and steady;
No wind is recorded;
The sky is clear;
The Cascades are dry;
The Cascades Brook is dry;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.

National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 81.
East wind around 6 mph

Friday, September 04, 2015

Cool, Light Clouds, Occasional Wind

Cool, Light Clouds and Occasional Wind
Not a bad start!

Yesterday saw a lot of activity here at Cascading Waters!
First, to help reduce some of the confusion, a sign was mounted on the Cascades East trailhead end of the Cascades Trail to clarify the main trail as some folks were getting confused and walking down the path where the restoration work has been taking place thinking it was the main path.

The hanging of this sign was complicated by a snapped bolt (steel just isn't what it used to be!), and a whole that stripped itself, requiring an upsizing of the bolt being used. Poor Harold and Gordon had to make 3 trips to get this one sign in place. Thanks guys!


Meanwhile there was tracing, routing, and sanding work going on at the Shed!
Lisa swung by to discuss Donker Farm projects.

There are small things that make a huge difference.
With the heartbreaking closure of Bhadon's Gift Gallery in Tatnuck there is a ray of sunshine. The Fords who owned and operated Bhadon's donated the wooden racks that were used to hang the hand dipped candles. These wooden racks are now a tool rack out in the Shed! Getting this stuff organized and put away so that they don't get wrecked! The tools kept ending up in semi sorted piles that migrated around, sometimes ending up in the most unlikely places.

Thank you to the Fords!



Finally, and this was a BIG project, we loaded the Elmer's Seat sign into the trailer for the trek out to the property for installation. This is a four person job for folks with real lifting strength! Ultimately it took 7 of us to get it onto the trailer with folks holding onto the trailer and the tailgate for the hauling crew.


It was a great day for projects! Thanks to everyone! Gordon, Harold, Paula, Ben, Lisa, Peg, Mary, & Colin!



Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 67.1 degrees and steady;
Humidity is 65% and steady;
Pressure is 29.97" of Hg and steady;
Wind is presently still;
Skies are cloudy;
The Cascades are dry;
The Cascades Brook is dry,
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 77.
Northeast wind around 9 mph.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Clear, Cool, Sunny, Just Fine!

The weather is simply splendid!
No other words need be said!


Thursday morning at the Lodge at Cascading Waters at 9-12 there will be sign, timber hewing, and trailwork! Come join in the fun! 


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 9:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 72.7 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 74% and falling;
Pressure is 29.88" of Hg and steady;
Wind is moving slightly but not registering wind speed;
Skies are clear;
Cascades are dry;
Cascades Brook is dry;
USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 86.
West wind around 7 mph

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Cooler, Less Humid, Clear Start

Yesterday was a busy one!

First, the Trust is exploring the acquisition of a tractor to assist with property maintenance and some of that was going on yesterday. Hopefully this is something which will become part of the Trust's arsenal for maintaining the conservation properties.

Second, the Trust continues to work on negotiating for property and that was very much going on yesterday.

Finally, Third, the Trust had a work project last night up on Asnebumskit clearing the Asnebumskit Ridge Trail as it passes through the area of the forestry cut to regenerate oak. A regenerating forest cut is VERY VERY thick with vegetation soaking in the sun to grow by leaps and bounds, so keeping a trail open through that is a challenge until the regrowth matures. Add to that the fact that we have to hike a distance and all up hill to get to the area that needs attention AND that the cutting is more grass whipping dense vegetation and less clipping with loppers, and you have a challenging project!

Luckily we had a great crew for the work! Ron, Gordon, Paula, Mary, Tim, Lisa, and Colin (along with Tim's loyal Chesapeake Retriever Lola) headed up along the trail in the evening and I am happy to report that the route isn't just passable, but it is in good shape!

So, today promises, hopefully, to be a slightly less busy day to allow the tending to the various things that cry out for some work.


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 67.5 degrees and steady;
Humidity is 80% and steady;
Pressure is 29.91" of Hg and steady;
The skies are clear;
The air is still;
The Cascades are dry;
The Cascades Brook is dry;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is listed at LOW but we are finding it unchanged since yesterday (especially as it relates to the relative dryness of the material on the ground and otherwise we would be leaving the sign at MODERATE. The reduced wind and temperature are probably the controlling factors in their decision.)


National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 81.
Northwest wind 3 to 6 mph.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Clear, Humid, and Warm

Yesterday saw 55 Clark University Outing Club Members hiking the Cascades through Cascading Waters. This was the laregst crew of folks form the Outing Club we have seen in their kick-off weekend in the many years we have been partnering with them.

We also saw a solid amount of regular hikers for a busy day here at the trailhead! Great stuff.

Today the weather is a little warm and a little humid to be considered perfect, BUT it is less warm and less humid than downtown Worcester, so, in a sense it is pretty dang close to perfect, so we are going to round that off at really nice.


TONIGHT'S WORK PROJECT

Tonight we will be meeting at the Asnebumskit Ridge Trailhead on South Road in Holden and clearing the final section of the trail. This is our third outing, and this one promises to be fairly straightforward as most of the distance has been tackled. We are meeting at the trailhead at 5:00 pm and hitting the trail a little after 5:15 pm. For more information contact Mary at mary@gwlt.org


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 70.3 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 85% and rising;
Pressure is 29.85" of Hg and steady;
Skies are clear;
Wind is still;
The Cascades are dry;
The Cascades Brook is dry;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly sunny, with a high near 89.
West wind 7 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Cool and Sunny Start & Nick's Woods Anniversary

It is a cool and sunny start to the day.
There is a nice breeze running through the forest.
The humidity is way way down.
It would be hard to ask for nicer weather.


NICK'S WOODS

Today is the Anniversary of the conservation of Nick's Woods (which is between Rt. 122A Grove Street and Brattle Street on the Worcester/Holden line.)
Nick's Woods (64.76 acres) is named after Nick Chase who donated a Conservation Restriction on most of the property, and later sold the whole property to be used for conservation.

The property has a brook that goes by four different names, depending on who you ask! We tend to use Sargent's Brook, as Emerson Brooks, a long time resident of the area, and former farmer in this part of Worcester, says that's what they called it when he was a kid. Good enough for us!
Along the banks of the brook is an old cart road, and this is the old road between Worcester and Holden from before Rte. 122A being carved out of the side of the hill.
This old cart road is fairly level and makes for a great walk or in snow a cross country skiing path.

For a map of the property click here: http://www.gwlt.org/maps/nicks-woods.pdf


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 61.7 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 73% and steady;
Pressure is 29.85" of Hg and steady;
Wind is stirring and peaked at 0.5 mph;
Skies are clear;
The Cascades Brook is dry;
The Cascades are not running;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly sunny, with a high near 77.
West wind 7 to 9 mph.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Looking Hopeful for Nice Weather for the Week!

The weather sure is looking hopeful out there!
Sunny! Warm! and for the foreseeable future!

Here in Worcester the roads will get more congested as the Worcester Public Schools return to session and the school buses swarm the streets.
The trails should remain congestion free though!


Foraging Walk

If you are fast, this morning, at 9:30, at Thayer Pond Wildlife Management Area in Rutland, at the trailhead on Charnock Hill Road, Russ Cohen, forager par excellence, will be leading a foraging walk. Russ' foraging walks are NOT TO BE MISSED!


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 65.7 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 88% and steady;
Pressure is 29.77" of Hg and steady;
Skies are clear;
Wind is still;
Cascades Brook is dry;
Cascades are not running;
USFS Fire Danger is MODERATE.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly sunny, with a high near 83.
West wind around 7 mph.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Happy 28th! On to 29!

Last night GWLT volunteers gathered on South Road at the Asnebumskit Ridge Trail Trailhead to cut their way south, up the side of the ridge through brush, and reforesting clearings. It was humid, the light was low (it is no longer peak summer light in the evenings, and we were on the eastern face of the ridge and it the lee of its shadow.)

What was great, was that this crew of 7 (Gordon, Mason, Nick, Paula, Terre, Mary, and Colin) hacking their way up the trail, was how GWLT celebrated 28 years since the Trust was incorporated by 8 hearty folks (Allen, Brian, Deborah, Dennis, Evelyn, George, Philip, and Robert).

Back in 1987 a small group of folks sat around a table and got this thing going. Last night another group of us hit the trail to keep that going, not around a table, but out on easements and lands the Trust and her partners have conserved. The Anniversary was marked by good folk, sweat, and cake, which is only right.



National Weather Service Warning for Today:

WHILE A WIDESPREAD SEVERE WEATHER OUTBREAK IS NOT EXPECTED...A
FEW STRONG TO SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE TO THE NORTHWEST
OF A BOSTON TO PROVIDENCE LINE. THE MAIN THREAT WILL BE LOCALLY
STRONG TO DAMAGING STRAIGHT LINE WIND GUSTS.
A.K.A. Probably not us, but not certainly not us. 
 


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 9:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 71.8 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 87% and steady;
Pressure is 29.77" of Hg and steady;
Wind is stirring and shifting, but not registering windspeed (earlier it peaked at only 1.0 mph);
Skies are hazy;
Cascades Brook is dry;
Cascades Falls are not running;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Scattered showers and thunderstorms.
Some of the storms could produce gusty winds and heavy rain.
Mostly cloudy, with a high near 79.
South wind around 8 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 50%.
New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Drizzly Morning

It is a grey and drizzly morning here at the Cascades.
The plant life will appreciate that. Mushrooms will pop up.
It is not, however, supposed to be any more than some intermittent showers from time to time, and as such it is actually a beautiful day to be out in the woods.
Plan a hike, and don't worry about the heat!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! (Almost)

Tomorrow will be the 28th Anniversary of the Greater Worcester Land Trust's incorporation, so get your party supplies together now! We will be clearing trail on the Asnebumskit Ridge Trail off of South Road in Holden. Come join us tomorrow evening at 5:00 pm for pizza, and at 5:30 pm we hit the trail to clear the trail. There will be cake!


Trailhead Conditions at 8:15 a.m. at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 66.2 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 93% and steady;
Pressure is 29.94" of Hg and steady;
Wind is still;
Skies are grey and it is raining;
Cascades Brook is dry;
Cascades are not running;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Scattered showers, mainly between noon and 5pm.
Cloudy, with a high near 73. Northeast wind around 7 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Muggy with Relief Coming

Well, it sure is muggy this morning.
The good news is that there is relief coming!

That relief is captured in the Weather Service Warning:

THERE IS A MODERATE RISK OF HEAVY RAIN AND URBAN AND POOR
DRAINAGE FLOODING WITH SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS TODAY...

and it doesn't end there!
Tomorrow AND Sunday already have warnings:

THERE IS A MODERATE RISK OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WITH HEAVY
RAIN LEADING TO URBAN AND POOR DRAINAGE FLOODING SATURDAY...
AN ISOLATED SEVERE THUNDERSTORM IS ALSO POSSIBLE ON SATURDAY.

A RISK OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WITH HEAVY RAIN WILL CONTINUE
SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY. THERE IS A GREATER POTENTIAL FOR STRONG TO
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS TUESDAY. 

Thanks to the whole team who dug in yesterday and stained, painted, cut, routed, drilled, bolted, and sanded boards for trail and property signs! We got an IMMENSE amount of work done yesterday, and we have one sign ready to roll for Elmer's Seat in Boylston next Thursday!


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 72.7 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 88% and steady;
Pressure is 29.94" of Hg and steady;
Wind is not stirring;
Skies are cloudy;
The Cascades Brook is dry;
The Cascades are not running;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.

(By the way, on the Fire Danger Map, be really really happy that you live out east right now. The western half (and especially the northern portion of that) of the country is looking pretty tough, nevermind the states presently on fire.)

http://www.wfas.net/images/firedanger/fd_cls_f.png 


National Weather Service Forecast:

Showers and thunderstorms likely, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 11am.
Some of the storms could produce heavy rain.
Patchy fog between 9am and 10am.
High near 78.
South wind around 6 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 80%.
New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

More Humidity! Small Chance of T-Storms

Today has more humidity!
The upside is that there is a limited chance of thunderstorms later today.
If we actually had a thunderstorm that could help break the link of heat and humidity that we have right now.
Stay tuned and watch the skies!

As for the forest, well, things are beautiful out there!
It is prime growing season with the deciduous trees at full growth and various flowering plants and mushrooms cycling along the forest floor.
Head out!
Take a look!


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 74.1 degrees and steady;
Humidity is 90% and steady;
Pressure is 29.91" of Hg and steady;
Wind is perfectly still;
The Cascades are not running;
The Cascades Brook has no flow;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


National Weather Service Forecast:

A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noon.
Some of the storms could produce heavy rain.
Partly sunny, with a high near 88.
Southwest wind around 6 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 40%.
New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Touch Humid! Ted's Trek is DONE!

It is a sunny day that feels more warm than it is because of the humidity.


Ted's Appalachian Trail Trek drew to a close last Thursday on Mount Katahdin!
2178 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mountain Katahdin in Maine!

Ted reported in as often as he could get a cell phone signal or find a computer to send email from, and GWLT posted the updates of our local Clark University partner as he went.
This was truly an epic effort. Well done Ted!
Ted's closing posts reflecting on the trip, and the whole trip dating back 152 days before that are all at: tedatgwlt.blogspot.com
Well Done! and thank you for bringing the Trust along with you! 


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 9:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 73.6 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 90% and steady;
Pressure 29.97" of Hg and steady;
Wind is still;
Sunny;
Cascades Brook is presently dry;
The Cascades are not running;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 90. West wind around 7 mph.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Raining! At Last! Ted at the End! At Last!

It took a while but finally we got some rain again!
The brook needs the water.
The Cascades, and the wetland system above it that feeds it, needs the water.
The forest, the fields, and the gardens need the water.

When going out for a hike, please bear in mind that there is a National Weather Service Warning:

SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS MAY PRODUCE LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL THIS
AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT. THIS MAY CAUSE URBAN AND POOR DRAINAGE
FLOODING. THERE IS ALSO A LOW PROBABILITY FOR A FEW STRONG
THUNDERSTORMS...SOME OF WHICH MAY PRODUCE LOCALLY STRONG WIND
GUSTS. THERE IS ALSO A VERY LOW CHANCE FOR A BRIEF TORNADO.


EAST SIDE TRAIL

Last evening we had a crew cut the trail from the Trinity Woods entrance to Green Hill Park down to Plantation Street. Meanwhile we had a crew on the stretch of the trail between Plantation Street and the driveway for the Sisters of Notre Dame who were busy carving their way through the enormous dead red oak tree that fell across the trail. They very nearly did it, but unlike the trail cutting crew, they weren't able to finish before dusk. Thanks to everyone!


TED'S AT TREK

Ted is now merely 36 miles left to his AT Trek!
This is the end lap.
Amusingly, he could probably blast this out in 2 days, but is pacing it.
http://tedatgwlt.blogspot.com/

The End is Nearly Here!


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 9:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 67.6 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 90% and steady;
Pressure is 29.74" of Hg and falling;
Grey Skies with rain falling;
The Wind is stirring and peaking at 1.0 mph;
The Cascades Brook is not flowing, though now the rocks are wet;
The Cascades are not flowing either;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Showers, with thunderstorms also possible after noon.
Some of the storms could produce gusty winds and heavy rain.
High near 71. South wind around 11 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 100%.
New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Can't Complain About the Weather

Can't Complain About the Weather, unless you were counting on the sky to water your gardens.

It is pretty wonderful out there. Sunny, cool, with a breeze.
There is a small chance of showers later today, but only a small chance.


WORK PROJECT TONIGHT:

There will be a trail work project out on the East Side Trail this evening, and we will be cleaning up blow downs in addition to other trail work!
The gang will be meeting at 5pm at Trinity Ave. on the OTHER SIDE of I-290 (important as there are TWO Trinity Avenues that were severed by the highway.) There will be pizza, and we will break trail at 5:30 pm.
For more information email mary@gwlt.org or call 508-795-3838.


10:00 a.m. Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 70.2 degrees and rising;
Humidity is 70% and falling;
Pressure is 29.94" of Hg and steady;
Wind speed is 1 mph steady;
The sky is clear with sun;
The Cascades Brook is dry;
The Cascades have no flow;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

A slight chance of showers after 3pm.
Increasing clouds, with a high near 79.
Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Beautiful Morning - Thoughts on "History" and Glass

Yesterday, noting that the Cascades Brook no longer had flow, although there are still a few pools of water, I took the time and the opportunity to jump into the brook to deal with some "Old History."

You see, there is glass in the bottom of the brook, and it seems to be made up of three different sources.

The first, and most obvious, is current kids partying by the Cascades. It turns out that with the increased use of the Cascades for hiking and walking and viewing there has been a lot less of that (not none, but definitely much less.) We observe that with increased positive users there is a displacement of illicit activity over the years.

The second, is old abuse from the past. This is fairly evident as the older glass is substantially thicker, the exterior of the glass is scored by the scouring of sand and silt and movement. Modern glass is comparatively light bulb thick, and old glass is more like corrugated cardboard thick. It would appear that the fathers, grand fathers, and great grandfathers of the past smashed their bottles in the brook, and there they remain. I know that it has certainly been a while since 7-Up was sold in thick green glass bottles!

The third, is "fill." Nowadays we take municipal trash service for granted. They magically come to our door and take away our trash and it passes from our consciousness. It was not always so. We run across this here at the lodge. When we first occupied the lodge we would go out after a summer rain storm to harvest the glass that had been exposed and floated up to the surface. Folks used to bury what they couldn't burn when disposing of trash. If you wanted to fill in a hole or level an area, you would use your "fill." After keeping at this for years we don't see much of anything after rains. (We did exhume some intact complete glass ware over the years! One tea cup and one drinking glass which we still use!) The Cascades Brook is another mater.

You see, the course of the Cascades Brook east of the falls is a straight line with a bank on each side. This is NOT the natural path of the brook. This was dug, and the banks were built to direct the flow. In fact, south of the mini falls at Cascading Waters the brook has taken back over again and is beginning to meander on its own. But, back to those banks. Those banks are disturbed land and seem to include "fill." While there isn't a lot, there does appear to be some older glass in this material as well.

So...

With the new glass slowing down, and the brook dry, it is a perfect time to hop in and make real progress in turning the tide on the glass. 6 quart containers were filled over the coarse of yesterday afternoon. Then, due to some hikers, my attention was turned to the trail, where there was a small amount present, which led me up to the base of the falls and the southern edge of the bridge in particular. Another 2 quart containers were collected on this run. It is a lot of glass, and probably more than 8 qts. as I over-filled each container substantially, but there has been a lot of history here, and there has been past abuse.

This is one of those tasks where you settle in, keep at it, and turn the tide, and restore things to where they should be. Yesterday was another step in that process, and over the years we have done this activity from time to time when the brook is dry enough to permit it. It had been better, it is better, and it will continue to be better. Patience and persistence yield progress.


National Weather Service Bulletin:

THERE IS A MODERATE PROBABILITY FOR SCATTERED STRONG TO SEVERE
THUNDERSTORMS. IN ADDITION TO HEAVY RAIN AND LIGHTNING...THERE IS
POTENTIAL FOR LARGE HAIL AND STRONG TO DAMAGING WINDS. CANNOT
RULE OUT A POSSIBLE TORNADO. URBAN AND POOR-DRAINING FLOODING IS
ALSO A CONCERN. THREATS BEGIN THIS MORNING...AND CONTINUE INTO
THE EVENING HOURS.



Trailhead Conditions at 8:30 a.m. at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 72 degrees and steady;
Humidity is 86% and steady;
Pressure is 29.74" of Hg and steady;
Wind is stirring but not registering;
The sky is clear with sun;
The Cascades are dry;
The Cascades Brook is dry;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


National Weather Service Forecast:

A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1pm.
Some storms could be severe, with hail, damaging winds, heavy rain, and frequent lightning.
Mostly cloudy, with a high near 83.
Southwest wind 6 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 40%.
New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Breeze, Thunderstorms, and Haying

So, today starts out on the warm side of cool, and climbs in temperature, BUT the atmosphere is very unstable and this will develop to evening and night time thunderstorms. Your best hiking is in the early part of the day and afternoon.


Sibley Farm

The haying has begun out at Sibley Farm!
The hay is being cut, and the farmer managed to get down into some of the field sections to the south that had been neglected for years in an effort to reclaim more of the haying potential of the site. This is great news!
This year's hay is of high quality and low abundance according to the farmer, and his bet is that the dry period is why the hay is a little less abundant. Nevertheless, he is very positive about the situation.


Some weather warnings from our friends at the National Weather Service:

SHOWERS WITH EMBEDDED THUNDERSTORMS THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING
WILL RESULT IN LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND THE POTENTIAL FOR SOME
STREET FLOODING
 
A SECONDARY CONCERN WILL BE THE POTENTIAL FOR A FEW STRONG TO
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING 


Trailhead Conditions at 9:30 a.m. at Cascading Waters (630'):

Temperature is 78.4 and rising;
Humidity is 79% and falling;
Pressure is 29.77" and steady;
The wind is stirring;
The sky is clear and there is sun through a light haze;
The Cascades are still;
The Cascades Brook is pretty much dry;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 5pm.
Increasing clouds, with a high near 87.
Southwest wind 9 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 60%.
New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Hot Day!

Today is going to be hot, and the air will be still. The saving grace will come in the afternoon when the wind will start to pick up to 5-7 mph, if you are in a place that gets wind.

Yesterday saw a very significant downpour from the passing line of unstable weather, and with the West always in mind, rain is appreciated.

Tomorrow afternoon will also see unstable air with the chance of Thunderstorms again.

Remember to keep a water bottle handy today!
Remember that the higher elevations and deeper valleys will have a chance to break through the heat.
Remember that when you leave the downtown area you lose 3-5 degrees, and some days even more.
 

10:30 am Trail Conditions at Cascading Waters (630'):

Temperature is 79.0 degrees and rising;
Humidity is 82% and falling;
Pressure is 29.88" of Hg and steady;
The sun is out;
The air is still;
The Cascades are not running;
The Cascades Brook is pretty much dry;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


The National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly sunny, with a high near 91.
Calm wind becoming west 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cool, Breeze, and a Touch Humid

Settling Back Down Again

So, last week was the due date for State Grants to Acquire land, and that meant that leading up to last Monday things were pretty jam packed. As soon as the grants went in it was time to turn to the Annual Meeting preparations for this past Sunday. The Donker Farm Celebration was beautiful. After that Mary and the Crew hit the Asnebumskit Ridge Trail yesterday for some clearing work. Summer is busy season!

Annual Meeting & Donker Farm Celebration
 
GWLT Directors Huck and George testing out the trail stile 

Yesterday also saw the crew from the Lodge duck out and head west along the Mohawk Trail (Route 2), and along the way spend time at Savoy State Forest admiring the gate work, the Appalachian Trail crossing admiring the information kiosk, and the deep river ravines and glorious hilltops admiring the views. We took pictures! We have ideas! We love taking the best we see elsewhere and bring it back for the Cascades!

Speaking of which, last week saw the completion of the trail stile at Donker Farm, and part of that crew was Edward and Dan, from the Worcester Public School, CCC program! They were great help, and really enjoyed the project as well as the sheep, chickens, and geese that were keeping an eye on us as we did our work. Sadly the WPS program drew to a close last week and we had to say goodbye to our new friends who had worked at Crow Hill, Cascading Waters, Cascades West, and Donker Farm.



Ted is in Maine!
Based upon our tracking, Ted should have crossed into Maine by yesterday. While he is in a cell phone signal deadspot, and will be for much of his Maine trek, he reports in when he is able to catch a signal.
Follow Ted's travels here: tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


Trailhead Conditions at 8:00 a.m. at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 70.7 degrees and rising;
Humidity is 90% and steady;
Pressure is 29.88" of Hg and steady;
The Wind is stirring, but not registering any speed;
The skies are sunny;
The Cascades are quiet;
The Cascades Brook is pretty much dry;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Isolated showers and thunderstorms after noon.
Patchy fog before 8am.
Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 87.
West wind around 6 mph becoming calm in the morning.
Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Overcast but cooler

While there's still plenty of humidity in the air, it isn't quite as oppressive as it was yesterday.
At 8:30 am, it is 70.2 degrees and steady.
The humidity is 82% and steady.
The barometer stands at 29.56 inches of mercury and steady.
USFS Fire Danger for today remains LOW.
The National Weather Service forecast for today: A slight chance of showers between 3pm and 4pm, then a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 4pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 89. Light west wind becoming southwest 5 to 9 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Another Cool Sunny Summer Day!

The weather is hard to improve upon of late!
Sunny, cool, with a light breeze.
Pretty amazing really.

If you are looking for somewhere to go out and hike you might want to check out www.hikeworcester.com


CASCADES WEST

After a two year period of examining the possibility of closing off Silver Spring Road (Howard Street) as it runs through Cascades West, including a meeting with user/hikers, discussion with Trust volunteers, discussion with Holden and Paxton and their public safety officers, and internal review, we have decided to move forward with making the road into a pedestrian recreational corridor that can be opened to address specific maintenance and public safety needs.

There would be one gate to the north close to Camp Street, and one gate to the south at the edge of the pavement in Boynton Park.

The reasoning is simple:

1. The road is only one lane wide for most of its length, posing a traffic problem.
2. Because the road sees extensive use as a recreation corridor, limiting vehicular traffic would promote user safety.
3. The road is neither plowed nor maintained by the towns, and remains impassable for much of the winter. It may appear passable at the lower end when the unpaved upper end remains blocked by snow.
4. Restricting vehicular access will assist in curbing illegal dumping.
5. Restricting vehicular access will eliminate "cruising."
6. Reducing vehicular traffic is very good for wildlife habitat.
7. You! We want your experience of the Cascades to be an enjoyable one!

This project will not happen until the end of July or the beginning of August and comments and thoughts can be directed to cascades@gwlt.org

Sadly, yesterday, when we went to post signs informing users, we had a new and pretty nasty illegal dumping to deal with, and while this was very unpleasant, it really drove home in an unambiguous way the undeniable need to better secure the conservation land from abuse so that we can all benefit.

Hopefully this will be a site improvement that everyone will come to enjoy in the long-term.


The Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 10:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 66.6 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 61% and falling;
Pressure is 30.00" and steady;
Skies are sunny;
Breeze is moving but not registering any mph;
The Cascades have minimal flow;
The Cascades Brook has minimal flow in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


The National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly sunny, with a high near 81. Light and variable wind becoming south around 6 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Beautifully Chilly Morning!

What a wonderful summer!
Rare have there been really hot days.
Today's cool morning is fantastic!


DONKER FARM

We made a first step on an hiker stile at Donker Farm Monday night.
The idea is to make it possible to have a hiker pass through the meadow where the sheep graze without the sheep being able to escape.
It is going to take more work, but we had a huge crew that managed to dig 4 holes simultaneously and set four posts, and that is a fantastic start!

ALSO, on Sunday, July 26th, the Trust will hold its Annual Meeting out at Donker Farm!


Mark your calendars!





     "ONE IF BY LAND"

If you can,
hike in from Cook's Pond, parking on either Olean Street or Tatnuck Garden...
Or
hike in from Cascading Waters, parking on Olean Street...
Or
hike in from Cascades Park, parking on Cataract Street...
Or
hike in from Cascades East, parking on Olean and Cataract...
Or
hike in from Boynton Park of Cascades West, parking on Silver Spring Road...
Or
hike in from Southwick Pond, parking on Walbridge Road!

     "TWO IF BY SEA"

You could also canoe or kayak over, parking on Olean Street!

As this is part of the 4 Town Greenbelt, and if you are up to it, make the most of it!


TED'S AT TREK

Ted has taken a hiatus from the Appalachian Trail to atend a week long music festival, and when he returns next week he will hit the trail in Franconia Notch.
Happy jamming Ted!
tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 61.0 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 61% and falling;
Pressure is 29.91" of Hg and steady;
Skies are clear with sun;
There is movement of air, but no recorded air speed;
There is minimal flow of the Cascades;
There is minimal flow in both channels of the Cascades Brook;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


The National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 76. North wind 5 to 9 mph.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sunny, Humid, Summer Morning, with a Breeze

As with any hot, humid summer day, there is a small chance of a thunderstorm.

Sorry for the gaps in updates. As it isn't the school season the normal pattern of mornings was lost and along with it the time to get this out. We will try to get this back in order again!


WORK PROJECT TONIGHT!

Tonight we are looking to start work on a trail stile to allow movement of hikers and keep safe the livestock at Donker Farm. We will be meeting at the Donker Farm trailhead on Tory Fort Lane at 5:00 p.m., having some pizza, and getting digging by at the latest 5:30 p.m.!


TED'S AT TREK!!

Ted is in the White Mountain National Forest, has summited Mount Moosilauke, and was headed for the Kinsmans! Follow Ted here: tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


Cascading Waters Trailhead Conditions at 9:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 74.7 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 70% and falling;
Pressure is 29.85" of Hg and steady;
Skies are hazzy with sun;
Wind is stirring;
The Cascades have low flow;
The Cascades Brook has low flow in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm.
Partly sunny, with a high near 83.
Calm wind becoming southeast 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon.
Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Monday, July 06, 2015

A Fine Day Starts With Birds Chirping

Another fine day begins with sun and bird chirpping!

It is a fantastic day to be outside, and as tomorrow will have occasional isolated thunderstorms, this is the better of the two days to head out for a hike!


BEAR IN NICK'S WOODS

Last night we had a report come in from Nick's Woods (between Holden Street and Grove Street (122A)) of a black bear!

This is exciting, but it also means that for the time being early morning and late evening walks at Nick's Woods are not advised.


TED IS CLOSE TO FINISHING VERMONT

Ted's Trek up the AT had him past Killington and well on his way to the New Hampshire border!

Follow Ted's Trek here! tedatgwlt@blogspot.com


Cascading Waters Trailhead Conditions at 8:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 66.9 degrees and rising;
Humidity is 92% and steady;
Pressure is 30.03" of Hg and steady;
Skies are clear;
The air is still;
There is flow on the Cascades;
There is flow in both channels of the Cascades Brook;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly sunny, with a high near 85. Southwest wind 5 to 7 mph. 

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Sunny, Cool Morning!

Hope that everyone had a great 4th of July!
Today is another magnificent day for hiking!
This week is going to get warmer, so savor the cool start!


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:45 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 63 degrees and rising;
Humidity is 87% and steady;
Pressure is 29.91" of Hg and steady;
Skies are clear and sunny;
The wind is stirring and up to 1.0 mph;
The Cascades have flow;
The Cascades Brook has flow in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 81. West wind 6 to 8 mph.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Perfect Summer's Day

This morning is positively gorgeous out there!
Sunny, Clear, Cool, Breezy.

This is the beautiful weather after the storm, only, the storm was pretty weird here.
We had a tropical downpour in the afternoon, but that was pretty much it for precipitation.
Last night the sky was full of clouds and the colors yellow, orange, pink radiated through the cloud formations as sunset mover to dusk, and elsewhere the storms brought rain, wind, and damage, but here they brought nothing but beautiful cloud formations and colors.
The local internet was absolutely full of pictures of the sky folks were taking.
You can't tell New Englanders are obsessed with weather!


Ted's Trek on the AT

Ted's post from yesterday was a brief reflection of being on the trail for 100 days of hiking, camping, and weather.
To follow Ted as he hikes north through Massachusetts here: tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


Coes Beach Family Festival

Also, there will be a festival this Saturday just downstream on the Tatnuck from us around Coes Reservoir from noon to 5pm. There will be kayak and paddleboard rentals, the Knights of Columbus will be selling hot dogs and hamburgers, there will be birding with MassAudubon, there will be a guided hike, among other family activities. For more information contact parent.rogerr@gmail.com 


Sign & Tiberhewing Tomorrow

Tomorrow, is our regularly scheduled sign work and timber hewing at Cascading Waters from 9-12. Come by Olean Street to join in! For more information contact colin@gwlt.org


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 65.5 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 74% and steady;
Pressure is 29.80" of Hg and steady;
Wind is stirring and topping out at 1.0 mph;
Skies are clear and sunny;
Cascades have flow;
Cascades Brook has flow in both channels;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 82.
Northwest wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dirty Weather Coming

When a storm is expected at sea, there is an expression that the weather is turning "dirty."
The low light and clouds this morning distinctly give that impression about today.



Cook's Pond, which is as still as glass, despite the movement of the air, reflects the clouds, and just now, as I write this, it has started to rain.
None of that captures what is predicted for this afternoon though.

This afternoon could be rainy, or it could be epic.
A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ARE LIKELY THIS AFTERNOON AND EARLY
EVENING ACROSS MUCH OF CONNECTICUT...MASSACHUSETTS AND RHODE
ISLAND. THE GREATEST RISK IS ACROSS CONNECTICUT...WESTERN AND
CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS TO JUST NORTHWEST OF PROVIDENCE AND BOSTON.
THESE STORMS WILL LIKELY CONTAIN DAMAGING WINDS CAPABLE OF
KNOCKING DOWN TREES AND POWERLINES RESULTING IN POTENTIAL POWER
OUTAGES. THESE STORMS WILL IMPACT MUCH OF CONNECTICUT...WESTERN-
CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS BETWEEN NOON AND 5 PM...
 
OTHER POTENTIAL HAZARDS WITH THESE STORMS INCLUDE LARGE HAIL...A
VERY LOW RISK OF AN ISOLATED TORNADO ALONG WITH TORRENTIAL
DOWNPOURS AND LOCALIZED FLOODING.
 
If you want to know what the difference will be between rain and this intense storm prospect, the answer is simply How Much Sun Do We Get Today. More sun equals more atmospheric instability, equals more storm potential.

THE POTENTIAL EXISTS FOR A SIGNIFICANT SEVERE WEATHER OUTBREAK
THIS AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING...BUT WILL DEPEND ON HOW MUCH
SUNSHINE DEVELOPS AHEAD OF A COLD FRONT. IF ENOUGH SUNSHINE
OCCURS...SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING
DAMAGING STRAIGHT LINE WIND GUSTS AND LARGE HAIL. ISOLATED WIND
GUSTS OF 70+ MPH OR EVEN HAIL UP TO THE SIZE OF GOLFBALLS WOULD BE
A POSSIBILITY. IN ADDITION...AN ISOLATED TORNADO OR TWO MAY OCCUR.

THE HIGHEST RISK FOR SEVERE WEATHER TUESDAY IS BETWEEN 2 AND 8 PM
ALONG AND NORTHWEST OF A BOSTON TO PROVIDENCE LINE...BUT CAN NOT
BE RULED OUT ACROSS SOUTHEAST MASSACHUSETTS. STORMS SHOULD BE
MOVING FAST ENOUGH TO PREVENT FLASH FLOODING...BUT HEAVY RAIN MAY
RESULT IN BRIEF POOR DRAINAGE STREET FLOODING.

Stay tuned and be careful, eh?


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 67.1 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 87% and steady;
Pressure is 29.77" of Hg and steady;
Wind is stirring but not registering in mph;
Skies are cloudy (rain started just after observations);
The Cascades have some flow;
The Cascades Brook has some flow in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


The National Weather Service Forecast:

A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then thunderstorms likely after 2pm.
Some storms could be severe, with large hail, damaging winds, heavy rain, and frequent lightning.
Partly sunny, with a high near 85.
Breezy, with a south wind 9 to 14 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon.
Winds could gust as high as 36 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 60%.
New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Cascades are Running!

So, all of that crazy rain we had Saturday night and Sunday have the Cascades running!
The sound of crashing water fills the woods!
The brooks are burbling away noisily!
Mushrooms have popped up everywhere!
This is summer in the forest!

Our favorite scrap metal hauler dropped by this morning to pick up some heavy gauge material we pulled from a property. Thanks Michelle!


Ted's AT Trek

Ted has made it to Massachusetts!
His last trek had him going through the jungle downpours and Great Barrington is next on deck!
Follow his travels here: tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 69.8 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 81% and falling;
Pressure is 29.77" of Hg and rising;
Skies are clear;
Things are breezy, topping out at 2.5 mph in the observation period;
The Cascades are running!
The Cascades Brook is burbling away in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly sunny, with a high near 84.
Northwest wind around 10 mph.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Breezy, Cool, and Low Light Morning

It is a Breezy, Cool, and Low Light Morning here at Cascades.
Honestly, it is about as nice for hiking as you could hope for!
Be aware that there is a low probability storm rolling through after 11 a.m.

This Sunday will be the Solstice, the longest day of the year.
It seems only fitting that this should be embraced and celebrated by those of us who live, play, and work outdoors.
Put it on your calendar!
Go for a hike!
Camp!
Watch the sun set into twilight!

Otherwise things are calm out there on Trust lands and trails, and a lot of office work is going on behind the scenes.


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 64.8 degrees and steady;
Humidity is 83% and steady;
Pressure is 29.71" of Hg and steady;
Wind is steady between 1.0-1.5 mph;
Sky is partly cloudy and hazy;
The Cascades are flowing;
The Cascades Brook is flowing in both channels;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

A chance of showers, mainly between 11am and 3pm.
Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 81.
Northwest wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

It's a Fine Day

It's a Fine Day

Two roses have bloomed out on the wall.

The weather is cool, clear, and pleasant.

There is no rain in the forecast.

What more could you ask for really?


Earlier this week, Volunteer and Board Director Mike Peckar replaced the planking on the bridge at Pine Glen in West Boylston. While he was at it he cleared some vegetation from the trail and got rid of the trash! This is all great!
Thank you Mike!

 BEFORE


AFTER

Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 59.4 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 60% and falling;
Pressure is 29.94" of Hg and steady;
Wind varies and tops out at 1 mph;
Skies are partially cloudy, and partially clear;
The Cascades Brook is flowing in both channels;
The Cascades is flowing;
The USFS Fire Danger is LOW.


The National Weather Service Forecast:

Partly sunny, with a high near 76.
Southwest wind 6 to 9 mph.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Donker Farm Sheep Shearing!

Worcester Farm Life!
Yesterday the sheep were shorn at Donker Farm!




Mr. Kevin Ford, famous for his hand shearing (and an author to boot!) was out at Donker Farm to give the sheep a spring trim!

Thank you to Elisabeth Donker for capturing these images and sharing them with the rest of us who were not able to be present for the event!

Take note as you look at eh pictures! Those are blade shears! This is the traditional method!
There are videos, articles and news pieces on his handicraft!

Kevin is the author of "Shearing Day: Sheep Handling, Wool Science, and Shearing With Blades"

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Damp, Overcast, Yet Pleasant!

So, yesterday's rains have certainly soaked the world. Good luck finding a dry spot!
But it isn't raining presently, the air is pleasantly cool, the air is so still that Cook's Pond is a perfect mirror, and the greens are astounding.
Here and there you will find mushrooms that popped up, encouraged by the overcast rainy weather.
It is a nice morning to be outside!

This afternoon promises to be more exciting, with possible heavy rains and thunderstorms!
Plan your trips and your gear accordingly!

The National Weather Service Warning for today is kinda fun!
THE MAIN THREATS WILL BE LOCALLY GUSTY WINDS AND HEAVY RAINFALL.
LOCALIZED HEAVY RAINFALL MAY RESULT IN SOME NUISANCE POOR-DRAINAGE
STREET FLOODING.

THERE IS A LOW PROBABILITY FOR A VERY LOCALIZED...MORE SIGNIFICANT
FLOOD EVENT...IF ANY THUNDERSTORMS CAN TRAIN OVER A SPECIFIC
LOCATION IN WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS OR NORTHERN CONNECTICUT.


Ted's AT Trek

Ted was finding it hard to pull together the urgency to pack up in the dry shelter and walk out into the wall of rain yesterday morning.
Theoretically he was about a day's walk from Connecticut and we will see how he made out!
www.tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 57.6 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 93% and steady;
Pressure is 29.80" of Hg and steady;
Wind is still;
Skies are overcast;
The Cascades are flowing;
The Cascades Brook has flow in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Isolated showers between noon and 1pm, then scattered showers and thunderstorms after 1pm.
Some of the storms could produce heavy rain.
Patchy fog before 10am. Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 77.
Light and variable wind becoming southwest 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon.
Chance of precipitation is 40%.
New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Rain! Solid Rain!

Rain!
We sure needed rain, and we are getting it!

That being said, it has been raining long enough and hard enough where there is isolated ponding on the trails where there is a low spot, and the soils are soft and will become more muddy with traffic.

Still, the water table, the brooks, the vegetation, and the gardens all needed this rain badly so so be it.


TED ON THE AT TREK

Ted made it to Bear Mountain State Park in New York, and that meant a family reunion and Ted being part of the Northeast again. Welcome back!
Soon enough Ted will be hiking into and across Massachusetts.
Follow Ted's adventures here: tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


Trailhead Conditions at 7:30 a.m. at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 58.1 degrees F and steady;
The humidity is 77% and steady;
The pressure is 29.94" of Hg and steady;
The skies are cloudy with rain falling;
The wind is stirring but not registering;
The Cascades are flowing;
The Cascades Brook is flowing in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Showers, mainly before 2pm.
High near 59.
East wind 6 to 8 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 100%.
New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Friday, June 12, 2015

More Good Weather! Calm Before the Storm

Yet More Good Weather!
BUT!
Tonight has all of the makings of a good storm system!
A front is going to move through, and it will be hit or miss, but if it hits it should be a good storm!
Problem is, lately, if there is a chance it might miss us it does miss us.

Yesterday was a very busy day here at Cascading Waters with Sign and Timberwork.
We had Greg, Paula, Rich, Ron, and Colin working away on all sorts of projects.
We had special guest stars drop in like Peg for tracing, Brian & Jillian for picking up property field work supplies, and Lisa for project guidance.
We had routing, tracing, drilling, hewing, trash removal, general straightening, and brushing on of wood preservative.
Thanks to the whole gang for a wonderfully productive and very entertaining morning at the edge of the woods!


TED's TREK

Ted has made New York!
Not dropping in on the boundline this time, but crossing over out of New Jersey!
Ted is in the Northeast after having hoofed it by foot from Georgia!
Way to go Ted!
Follow Ted here: tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


BRIAN'S LAST DAY

Today is the last day of Brian's extended internship with the Trust. Brian Okoyo has been with us for most of a year now, and he has been working away on the Trust's master dataset and a presentation map of our properties and past projects.

More than just making a quick pretty picture to print, Brian dove into the Trust's data to find any missing data and fill in the blanks. He figured out what information the state's master GIS maps lacked and filled out forms to update the state's data with our work. He merged disparate pieces (polygons), corrected errors, and did artistic layout and design work on a final presentation piece. Amusingly, we would turn to Brian, just as he was coming close to finishing a step, and say, hey, uh, so we just preserved a new area, do you mind rejuggling everything to add this new stuff in as well?

Brian will be missed.
Not just for his presence in the office and his diligence, but for shaking his head with an easy laugh when being asked to rework everything in a project he was deep into.



Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 63.3 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 75% and steady;
Pressure is 29.88" of Hg and steady;
Wind is still with no movement;
Skies are sunny with a morning haze;
The Cascades have a minimal flow;
The Cascades Brook has minimal flow in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Partly sunny, with a high near 85. 
Calm wind becoming southwest 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Another Great Day That Will Get Warm: Seek Refuge From The Heat In The Forest!

It is another beautiful start of a day, and it is going to be pretty dang warm, but, with a wind.
The trails have dried out nicely, and there is a dew under the canopy that makes early day hikes particularly pleasant.
When you get into the shade of a cluster of trees the temperature feels like it drops 5 to 10 degrees, and you might want to remember that if things get a little too toasty for you in the neighborhood.


 (Jackie photo of the meadow flowers at Sibley
just off of the Sibley Farm parking area on Greenville Street, Spencer.)


TED ON THE AT!

Ted is on the cusp of breaking through to New York as he finishes up New Jersey!
Follow Ted's Adventures at tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


CONSERVATION PROJECT IN WEST BOYLSTON

Last night the West Boylston Planning Board approved a plan that allows the Trust to broker a double conservation deal! The privately held 26ish acre lot has 11 acres that will go to the Department of Conservation and Recreation Reservoir Division for drinking water protection (PINK), 12 acres that will go to the West Boylston Conservation Commission (BLUE), while allowing for another building lot (GREEN) as well as the original house (YELLOW).


To have the 12 acres go to West Boylston is a big deal as it is the source water for the Angell Brook. Angell Brook has had black nosed dace and trout observed in it, and those are cold water species and that is a BIG DEAL!!!

Thanks to everyone who helped to make this happen, especially the West Boylston Open Space Committee!


Trailhead conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 67.6  degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 79% and steady;
Pressure is 29.71" of Hg and steady;
Wind is stirring with a peak of 1.0 mph;
Skies are clear with a little bit of morning haze;
The Cascades have a little bit of flow;
The Cascades Brook has low flow in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


The National Weather Forecast:

Mostly sunny, with a high near 88.
West wind 11 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Beautiful Day Following the Intense Rain

Somehow it is always more beautiful in the forest the sunny morning after a hard overnight rain, and today is simply glorious out there!

Yes, we needed the rain.
Yes, the streams are still low.

But the air is clear, the skies are bright, and the green is simply more intense and that is the greatest thing of all!

(Jackie image from Sibley Farm of woodpecker (red bellied is my best guess.))


TED ON THE AT

Ted was in New York last night.
Now it is one of those funny bits where you bop into NY before going right back into PA, but he is really close to getting into the Northeast once and for all!
In fact family is going to meet him this weekend at Bear Mountain in NY!
Go Ted!
tedatgwlt.blogspot.com


TOMORROW IS SIGN AT TIMBER WORK AT CASCADING WATERS

9 a.m.- 12 p.m. we will be tracing, carving, hewing, routing, painting, and otherwise making the trail signs that make Worcester's trail system work!
Come join us!
To learn more email mary@gwlt.org

Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 62.2 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 86% and steay;
Pressure is 29.71" of Hg and steady;
The winds are stirring, but not enough to generate a reading;
The skies are clear and sunny;
The Cascades have low flow;
The Cascades Brook has low flow in both channels;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


The National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 82.
West wind 6 to 10 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon. 



Saturday, June 06, 2015

Happy National Trails Day!


There are SIX hikes available this morning: 

Hike 1 - Douglas 1st Baptist Church, Sutton to Rte. 16, Douglas State Park
Start Time: 10:00 AM
Start Location: Route 16 trail crossing in Douglas [Near 200 Webster Street, GPS 42.056044 - 71.786750].
Directions to Start: Take Rte. 395 to exit 2. Go east on Rte. 16 for 4.3 miles to state trail parking lot on right(alternate parking on opposite side of Rt. 16 across from lot). From Rte.146 and East Douglas, take Rte. 16 west. Lot is on left, .9 miles past entrance to Wallum Lake/Douglas State Forest (Cedar St). Leave some cars there and shuttle to parking lot by church on Central Turnpike in West Sutton.
Hike Length: 6.2 miles.
Leader: Ken Baldyga; 508-757-5812

Hike 2 - Intersection of I Capen and East Charlton Roads to Sibley Farm Conservation Area by Worcester Chapter AMC
Start Time: 12:15 PM
Start Location: Meet at Sibley Farm on Greenville St., Spencer
Shuttle Hikers to starting point. Hike back to Sibley Farm (about 3 miles). 
Hike Length: about 3 miles
Leader: Don Cunningham; e-mail: hiking@amcworcester.org

Hike 3 - Moose Hill Dam to Sibley Farm Conservation Area
Start time: 11:00 AM
Start Location: Sibley Farm on Greenville St., Spencer
Shuttle hikers to Moose hill Dam parking area on Donnelly Cross Rd., Leicester. Hike back to Sibley Farm
Hike length: about 3.9 miles
Leader: Sandra Snow; 508-885-7787 e-mail: sandra@qss1.com

Hike 4 - Barre Falls Dam to Route 122 Rutland
Follow the Mid-State Trail over Harding Hill, past Blood Swamp, and end back at the Route 122 trail head in Rutland.
Start Time: 9:30 AM
Start Location: MST/Rail Trail parking lot on the right, one mile north of the Rutland State Park Long Pond boat ramp on Rte 122 in Rutland. We will shuttle hikers to the first parking lot on the left after entering the Barre Falls Dam grounds on Rte. 62 in Barre.
Length: approximately 6 miles
Leader: Jeff Keay; 508-353-1174 e-mail: jkeay23@gmail.com

Hike 5 - Princeton/Crow Hill
Start Time: 10:30 AM
Start Location: Redemption Rock on Route 140 in Princeton, just south of the Westminster town line (MapQuest, near: 271 Redemption Rock Trail North) We will shuttle to trail head and walk south, over Crow Hill Ledges and back to Redemption Rock, walk over ledge outcrops, stream crossing, stone walls and ridge-tops with views.
Leader: Marie Auger; 978-874-5629 e-mail: mandmauger@comcast.net

Hike 6 - Ashburnham State Forest
Join Ashburnham Conservation Trust and North County Land Trust as we hike through the Ashburnham State Forest on Mount Hunger to pick up the Midstate Trail. You will not want to miss the outstanding views of Mount Watatic and Stodge Meadow Pond. We will follow the Midstate Trail south and loop back to our starting point.
Start Time: 1:00 PM 
Start Location: Meet at the end of Kelton Road in Ashburnham
Directions to start: From the center of Ashburnham, head South on MA-12 toward Fitchburg for a 1/4 mile. Bear left onto River Styx Road. In just under 1/2 mile, take your first left onto Kelton Road. Continue up Kelton Road until you reach the end.
Length: 1-1.5 hours; beginner-moderate difficulty in some spots.
Leader: Desiree Hamelin, 978-424-7328, e-mail: dhamelin@northcountylandtrust.org

The festivities at Sibley Farm start at 2 with BBQ, music, yoga and more! Please join us!


Here at the Lodge at 9 am, it is 63.9 degrees and steady.
The humidity is 82% and steady.
The barometer is 29.74 inches of mercury and steady.
The current fire danger is MODERATE.
NWS Boston is forecasting the following: Scattered showers, mainly before 10am. Cloudy early, then gradual clearing, with a high near 71. North wind around 11 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.