A lot is going on in the night sky during the last week of July. Some of the shortest nights of the year in the Northern Hemisphere give us a quick glimpse into the heavens. Planetary viewing is great with Venus the bright Evening Star, Saturn, Mars and Mercury all showing off.
If you are coming out to The Cove, this is a great time to bring your telescope. If you don’t have one, the sky is still dazzling for those of us that enjoy staying up late. Ranger Erin will be leading full moon night hikes at 9 pm on Thursday, July 26 in the Deschutes Campground/meet at the store. Also, Sunday July 29 in the Crooked River Campground/meet at the Amphitheater.
Things to Watch For:
Thursday, July 26 – Mars at Opposition – Get ready to see the Red Planet up close: Just after Mars reaches opposition with the sun, observers on Earth will have their closest view of the planet since 2003. Mars will be brightest, it will reach that closest point on July 31.
Friday, July 27 – Full “Hay” or “Thunder” Moon – It’s also a Blood Moon (The lunar eclipse occurring will not be visible from North America)
July 17 – August 24 – Perseid Meteor Showers (Peak is August 11 and 12)
Governor Brown declared a fire emergency today. In accordance with this, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has temporarily banned campfires in all facilities statewide to help do our part to ensure the safety of Oregon’s Parks and their surrounding communities. This includes the use of charcoal briquettes, tiki torches, all candles, or any open flame that cannot be immediately turned off with a valve. Large propane fire rings are not permitted on all sites. (check with the park you are headed to for current restrictions.) Propane cook stoves are permitted; however propane fires may not be left on and unattended.
Visitors planning a trip to a state park should check for up-to-date information about fire restrictions by calling the state parks info line at 800-551-6949.
The Cove Palisades Management Unit is instituting a partial campfire restriction effective immediately.
7 AM – 8 PM until further notice there will be NO open flames of any kind except for propane cook stoves (allowed for cooking only.)
8 PM – 7 AM small campfires in designated areas within the campgrounds will be allowed, which will include the use of charcoal briquettes and propane stoves. No citronella or regular candles, tiki torches, or other open flames will be allowed.
These restrictions will remain in effect until we see temperatures and relative humidity change to a less dangerous level – see park website for the most up to date information: The Cove Palisades State Park
If you have questions, please call the park at 541-546-3412.
Oregon has 15 species of bats, up to 13 of those species are found in Central Oregon and 8 of those are Oregon Conservation Strategy Species. (These are animals that have small or declining populations, are at-risk, and/or of management concern.)
Bats are flying mammals that can reach speeds of 20 to 30 mph. All bats in Oregon are insectivores. Bats use echolocation which allows them to make high-pitched sounds then listen to the echo of those sounds to locate where objects are. Echolocation helps them find even the smallest insect. Bats are incredibly important as pollinators and provide humans with natural pest control. One little brown bat can eat up to 1000 insects in an hour!
Recently The Cove purchased a new bat detector to be used on visitor hikes in the park. It is called an Eco Meter Touch 2 by Wildlife Acoustics and it uses smartphone technology to display bats ultrasonic echolocation calls as they fly and identifies the bat species.
While we see bats and even here them occasionally, with this new technology Rangers can quickly identify the type of bats that are here in real time. We can record their sounds and even email them to visitors on the hike. Interpretive Ranger Erin Bennett used the detector for the first time on Thursday. “It is so exciting to know exactly what kind of bats are flying around out there in the dark. Now when a visitor asks, I can tell them definitively,” Bennett said. She found five different species of bats flying just east of the Deschutes River –
Learn more about Oregon’s bats by joining Cove staff on night hikes at The Cove this summer or go online to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s websites Living with Wildlife, Bats page including a fun batty for bats flyer, plans for building bat houses and information on White Nose Syndrome.
Stay and play for free at one of the three camping events in Central Oregon!
¡Quédate y juega gratuitamente en uno de los tres eventos en el centro de Oregon!
• June 2-3 (one night only) – Tumalo State Park, 5 miles NE of Bend on OB Riley Road.
Junio 2-3 (una noche solamente) — Tumalo State Park, 5 millas al noreste de Bend en la calle OB Riley.
• Aug. 17-19 (two nights) — The Cove Palisades State Park, 16 miles SW of Madras.
Agosto 17-19 (dos noches) — The Cove Palisades State Park, 16 millas al suroeste de Madras.
• Aug. 24-26 (two nights) — Prineville Reservoir State Park, 16 miles SE of Prineville.
Agosto 24-26 (dos noches) — Prineville Reservoir State Park, 16 millas al sureste de Prineville.
Registration/La registracion click here: To Register
Registration for Tumalo event closes Mon, May 21.
La registración para Tumalo cerrara el lunes 21 de mayo.
Registration for August events closes Monday, August 6.
La registración para los eventos en agosto cerrara el lunes 6 de agosto.
We provide: Camping gear, Saturday night dinner, and the ingredients to make s’mores. Plus, you will learn about the park, take a guided hike, and try kayaking (August events only). We’ll also help you set up your tent, cook over a campfire, and learn how to be a great camping neighbor.
Ofrecemos: Equipo para campamento, la cena del sábado, y los ingredientes para hacer malvaviscos. Además, vas a aprender acerca del parque, participar en una caminata guiada por un guardabosque, y probar paseos en kayak (solo durante los eventos en agosto). También te ayudaremos a construir tu tienda, cocinar en una fogata, y aprender cómo ser un gran vecino de campamento.
Questions? Call Jill Nishball, 541-388-6073.
¿Preguntas? Llama a Priscilla Calleros, 541-633-7834.
National Bat Appreciation Day occurs annually on April 17th. April is a good time of year to observe bats, as they are now beginning to emerge from hibernation. If you see one, be sure not to touch them.
It is also an excellent time to learn about the role bats play in nature. One important reason to celebrate bats is that they are considered to be an “insectivorous” creature because they rid our world of many annoying insects. In one hour, a bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes. Oregon bats also happen to feed on a number of pests, such as spruce budworm moths, tussock moths, pine bark beetle moths and gypsy moths.
Fun Bat Facts:
- Some species of bats can live up to 40 years.
- Many bats can see in the dark and use their extreme sense of hearing.
- Bats are the only mammal naturally capable of true and sustained flight.
- There are over 1,200 known species of bats.
- The United States is home to an estimated 48 species of bats.
- Nearly 70% of bats are insectivores.
- One of the largest bats is the Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox bat weighing up to 4 lbs with a wingspan of up to 5 feet, 7 inches.
- Bats are clean animals, grooming themselves almost constantly.
- North America’s largest urban bat colony is found on the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas. It is home to an estimated 1,500,000 Mexican Free-Tailed bats. This colony of bats eats approximately 10,000 to 30,000 lbs of insects each night. It is estimated 100,000 tourists visit the bridge annually to watch the bats leave the roost at twilight.
- One colony of 150 Big Brown bats can protect farmers from up to 33 million or more rootworms each summer.
- Almost 40% of American bat species are in severe decline, with some already listed as endangered or threatened.
- Three U.S. states have an official state bat. Texas and Oklahoma have named the Mexican Free-Tailed bat their state bat, and Virginia has dubbed the Virginia Big-Eared bat their state bat.
One of my favorite Oregon bats is the Townsend Big Eared Bat
Townsend’s big-eared bats (Corynorhinus townsendii) are a medium-sized bat with very long ears. Their fur is pale gray or brown above and buff colored on the underside. Their wingspan is12-13 in (30-34 cm) and they weigh between 0.3-0.5 oz. This bat’s ears are enormous, reaching a length of 38 mm. When the ears are laid back they extend to the middle of its body. They can be found in pine forests and arid desert scrub habitats. When roosting they do not tuck themselves into cracks and crevices like many bat species do, but prefer large open areas. They specialize in eating moths and other insects such as beetles, flies and wasps. Townsend’s big-eared bat is usually a late flier and will forage along the edge of vegetation.
- When it’s roosting or hibernating, Townsend’s big-eared bat curls up its long ears so they look like rams horns.
- When flying they can rapidly extend or contract their ears. When flying with their ears extended the ears point forward and are nearly parallel to their body.
To learn more about Oregon’s Bats go to: living with bats
“The Rivers flow not past us but through us.” – John Muir
Spring is just around the bend and it will once again be time for Oregonians and visitors to our beautiful state to start a new adventure. Do something healthy and fun for yourself. Check out our kayaking page on The Cove Rattler – you can sign up for a tour at http://www.oregonstateparks.org
Seven schools throughout Central Oregon including: Culver High, Redmond High, Mountain View High in Bend, Culver Middle School, Culver Elementary, Black Butte Elementary in Camp Sherman and one home school student participated in the 4th annual Eagle Watch Art Contest. More than 50 Students, 9 – 17 years old, created many beautiful works of art. We introduced a technical category this year – 11 students, both in elementary and high school designed some great power point presentations that showcased various birds of prey including vultures, eagles, falcons and owls.
Special thanks to this year’s judges – Thad FitzHenry (Portland General Electric), Jill Nishball (Oregon Parks and Recreation Department), and Stacy Lacey (United States Forest Service). All the judges agreed that it was very difficult to choose the winners as there were so many great creations. All submissions, including the winners, will be on display at Eagle Watch. Winners will be recognized and awarded at Eagle Watch on Saturday, February 24th at noon.
The Eagle Watch Committee would also like to thank the schools and teachers for supporting and inspiring your students.
Congratulations to this year’s winners!
3 Best In Show – Judge’s Favorites
These are based on the judges overall favorite piece(s) based on instinctive appeal, demonstration of skill and technique, degree to which it fulfills its intent and meaning beyond the image.
Artwork is judged on creativity and originality of depicting the theme, unique expression of theme, craftsmanship and visual impact. (All decisions are final.)
Redmond High School
1st Place Mixed Media, Sara Waller, 10th grade
1st Place Colored Drawing, Madison Dove, 9th grade
Culver High School – 1st Place Tech Winner – Barred Owl Power Point – Dusty Thornton
Strengths: Nicely laid out, consistent look throughout, factual, not a lot of wording, appropriate photos, and added photo credits.
Culver Middle School
1st Place Leather Carving – Tegan Macy, 8th grade
1st Place Oil Painting – Lauren Berkey, 7th grade
1st Place Colored Drawing – Uriel Mejia, 7th grade
Culver Elementary – 1st Place Tech Winner – Golden Eagle Power Point – Jeyshon Cruz
Strengths: Nice photos, consistent look throughout, easy to read, factual, included an ending slide and cited sources. Jeyshon added a drawing to a slide and had a great conservation idea for artificial nesting.
January 31, 2018 – It’s not just a lunar eclipse, it will also be a blue moon and a supermoon all in one!
January has two full moons, called a Blue Moon; the first was on January 1. A super moon, like the one visible on New Year’s Day, is when a full moon is closest to the Earth in its orbit, appearing bigger and brighter than normal. The red moon name arises because a full moon nearly always appears coppery red during a total lunar eclipse. “The exact color that the moon appears depends on the amount of dust and clouds in the atmosphere,” according to NASA scientists.
The January 31 full moon, the third full moon in a series of supermoons, will pass through the Earth’s shadow in North America before sunrise on January 31, 2018 and you will see a total lunar eclipse. When the eclipse is in totality the moon will be completely covered by Earth’s shadow. The entire show will last approximately one hour and fifteen minutes.
Pacific Standard Time (January 31, 2018)
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 3:48 a.m. PST
Total eclipse begins: 4:52 a.m. PST
Greatest eclipse: 5:30 a.m. PST
Total eclipse ends: 6:08 a.m. PST
Partial umbral eclipse ends: 7:11 a.m. PST
Moon may set before end of partial umbral eclipse
Lunar eclipses are among the easiest skywatching events to observe. Simply go out, look up and enjoy. You don’t need a telescope or any other special equipment. If you already have binoculars or a small telescope they will bring out details in the lunar surface — moonwatching can be really fascinating. Can you find Marilyn’s Mountain, as quoted by Jim Lovell in the movie Apollo 13? This eclipse occurs during the winter, so bundle up if you plan to be out for the duration. Bring warm drinks and blankets or chairs for comfort. If you have young children and can’t sit through the entirety, the best part of an eclipse is during the middle of the event, when the moon is in the umbral shadow.
Get a Front Row Seat
The Oregon Observatory (Sunriver Oregon) plans to be open, weather permitting, from 3:30 am until just after 6:00 am. Call the Observatory at 541-598-4406 for the most current update on Jan. 31 viewing conditions.