EW Flyer 2015VIP Tours of the Round Butte Fish Facility and Hatchery – Saturday 12 pm / Sunday 11 am – sign up at the welcome table half an hour before the tour begins. Special Guests:  J.R. Beaver, Larry the Light bulb & Smokey Bear!

Event Sponsors:  Acorn Naturalist, C3 Events, Canyon Creek Pottery – Sisters, Cascade Lavender – Culver, Cornell University of Ornithology, Earth20 – Culver, High Desert Museum – Bend, Indian Head Casino – Warm Springs, John Finch, artist, Ka-Nee-Ta Resort & Spa – Warm Springs, 91.9 FM – KWSO Warm Springs Radio, Madras Aquatic Center, Madras Garden Depot, McKay Cottage – Bend, Museum at Warm Springs, Oregon Parks & Recreation, Oregon Zoo, Portland General Electric, Quartz Creek Drummers and Dancers, Spilyay Tymoo Warm Springs Newspaper, Sunriver Metal Works, Sunriver Nature Center, The Bennett Family, The Patton Family, The Rybel Family, Telecom Pioneers, Wild Birds Unlimited – Bend.

Originally posted on The Cove Rattler :

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Hiking Can Relieve Stress

winter 2014 048It’s time to put pen to paper, or fingers to your smart phone, and make your 2015 New Year’s Resolutions.  Most of us have a lot of similar things on our lists, stay close to friends and family, loose weight, start a new hobby, reduce stress, be healthier, drink more water and start exercising.  What is one thing that you can do and will check everything off your list?  HIKING!  And what better place to do it than in Central Oregon.  Best of all it’s free!

I don’t know many people that say, “I have so little stress, I really need to complicate my life today.”  Most of us have some form of stress and we all need a healthy way to deal with it.  So at least once a week find a trail and you will not only get aerobic exercise – which increases endorphins and stimulates the body – but you will also find a deeper level of relaxation, which reduces stress.   Once out there, you have the freedom to tune your brain into whatever is most important.  Hiking can be coupled with meditation, time to contemplate complex issues that matter to you without distractions, or simply enjoy taking in the sights and sounds of nature.

Like any hobby, hiking can be more fun, and safer, with a buddy.  Hiking with someone else can allow you to vent, talk out or brainstorm when you have a problem.  The other person can also serve as a distraction if you don’t want quite time.

If you need to take your relaxation to the next level and really tune out the world for a while, bring your favorite music with you.  Not only does it serve to calm the nerves, lower stress hormones and blood pressure, but it also helps to establish a rhythm of hiking, which accentuates the effectiveness of the body’s aerobic exercise. Studies have shown that the combination of endorphins released between the two seemingly contrasting activities can deal with stress much more efficiently overall.

Central Oregon State Parks have miles and miles for you to explore.  Here at The Cove, the are many short winding trails that lead from the Deschutes Campground to the Deschutes River.  The Tam A Lau trail is a seven mile loop that will get your lungs and legs pumping with an 800 foot elevation gain and amazing Cascade views.  Also check out Smith Rock State Park, Tumalo State Park or Pilot Butte, Prineville Reservoir State Park (there is a three mile trail between Prineville Reservoir and Jasper Point State Park), and La Pine State Park.

Mt Jefferson Sunset
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”  – John Muir,

While hiking is an excellent way to relieve stress, it is important to always be prepared on a hike. If you haven’t exercised in a while, it might be a good thing to see your doctor first.  Check the weather forecast and a map of the area you are visiting, dress in layers, let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.  Bring a first aid kit, extra water and a mobile phone that gets reception in the area.

Have a happy and healthy 2015!

The Cove Team Wins State SOLVE Award

SOLVE (Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism Everyone) is a state-wide non-profit organization that takes action every day to keep Oregon clean and green. They mobilize volunteers and organize cleanup and restoration projects throughout the state.  SOLVE also strives to protect our State’s natural resources.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department was recognized this year at the Tom McCall Leadership Award banquet.  Our agency won the Oregon Champion Award for our work hosting volunteer events to protect and preserve Oregon’s State Parks, historic landmarks and waysides.  The Cove Palisades State Park was chosen to represent the Eastern Region.

The Cove staff could not have achieved this award without hundreds of outstanding volunteers –  through the Lake Billy Chinook Clean Up Days, Eagle Watch, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Program, Seeds For Change, Park Hosts, Recycling Volunteers, Service Clubs, individuals and more!  We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers that have worked hard at The Cove Palisades State Park over the years to make this the beautiful place we all know and love.

2014 crew picture SOLVE Award(Left to Right:  Lori Young, Jay Walters, Chris Gerdes, Kelli Leiby, Chris Rodgers, Steve Bifano, and Erin Bennett – not pictured David Slaght, Park Manager.)

To learn more about SOLVE or to find out how to get involved, go to

Just in Time for Holiday Shopping


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Halloween Animals We Love to Fear 5

Halloween is Friday, October 31st – and we save the best for last…

spider collage(ok, maybe these really are creepy!)

Eight legs, eight eyes and a face only a mother can love.  Arachnids.  Spiders and scorpions strike fear into the bravest hearts. The tarantula considered the most frightening spider on earth and thankfully we don’t have them in Central Oregon. There are three poisonous spiders you do need to watch out for at The Cove:

poisonous spiders

No Haunted house would ever be complete without creepy spiders and miles of webs stretched across every possible surface.  While I’m not hoping to convince all of you to like spiders;  there are some interesting facts to share.
• Spiders are insectivores and eat all kinds of bugs including wasps and hornets.
• They are typically nocturnal. Most gardeners welcome spiders because they are like having a pest control service that works 24/7 for free.
• Many do not spin webs.
• You are most likely to see spiders in the late summer or early fall because that is mating season for many spiders.
• Spiders are considered a delicacy for many in Asian and South American countries; scorpions, tarantulas and spiders are eaten.
• Spider venom is used in neurological research and may prevent permanent brain damage in stroke victims.
• The silk produced by spiders is used in many optical devices including laboratory instruments.
• Some birds, like the hummingbird, use silk to hold their nests together.

Warning:  Spiders like to be in dark, tight spaces.  Be especially careful reaching into rocks, woodpiles, attics and closets.

scorpion with moth
Fossil records show that scorpions are one of the oldest invertebrates on earth. There are 1,500 different scorpions in the world, 5 are found in Oregon. Baby scorpions are born alive and mom carries all of them around on her back. Scorpions are very sensitive to UV light and often will not leave their borrows even on a full moon – the coolest thing about scorpions, they glow green under black light.

glowing scoprion
Whether our fears stem from urban legends or real-life encounters, it’s normal to be scared of wild animals that could cause you physical harm. But some animals get a bad reputation, thanks to tall-tales or out-and-out myths that just won’t go away. Even if you’re not crazy about some of the animals we talked about in this post; hopefully you will not fear the unknown.  So this Halloween, don’t be cringe when you look at all the creepy animals around a haunted house, smile knowing so many animals are out there helping us.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Animals We Love to Fear 4

Of course, the most famous raven is the creepy character in Edgar Allan Poe’s famous “The Raven” poem, a popular piece of literature every Halloween.

“Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,’ I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore –
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!’
Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore.’”

raven by EAPexpendables

The crow is often considered a bad omen of things to come or a messenger. Crows were once thought to lead the sun to the underworld. A group of crows is a murder. Black feathers and the fathomless, shiny, black eyes of the raven symbolize mystery, shape shifter, the occult and dark secrets.

Among the smartest of all birds – Native to Oregon and much of North America. They are predators, highly social and use team work. Researchers found that if a crow had a bad experience with a human that they would remember that specific human and communicated with other crows warning them of that specific person; equally they remember people they liked and would go to even without the lure of treats. They can use tools, communicate with each other non-verbally, problem solve and most impressive, they can fly upside down.

crows with tools

crows flying upside down

Crows and ravens are scavengers that will eat carrion so they, like the turkey vulture, clean up a lot of messes that other animals (including us) won’t touch with a ten foot pole!

Next Friday is Halloween, so we saved the best for last…

Good Morning from The Cove

rainbow over deschutes


Paddlers, Rowers, & Wind Power Boaters of ALL Types of Non-Motorized Boats

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

6:00 – 8:30 pm

Boaters are invited to join the Oregon State Marine Board agency staff and non-motorized advisory committee members for an evening of dialog about your boating interests and what you might need in your area to better support your activities out on the water.

Meeting location is at the Jefferson County Annex – Commissioner’s Meeting Room 66 SE D Street, Madras

Halloween Animals We Love To Fear 3



turkey vulture up close

Vultures have a frightening reputation and an association with death because of their eerie bald heads and their habit of eating anything already dead. Preferably very dead.  Despite their grotesque appearance, the turkey vulture does a job that few other animals are willing to do and should be respected for it. As a consummate scavenger, they are nature’s garbage collectors.

This large bird stands two and half feet tall, weighs up to four pounds, and has a wing span of seventy inches. They’re bigger than most birds of prey, except eagles.  Vultures typically fly with its wings in a V shape.  It is related to storks and flamingos.  They have amazing eyesight, they can pick out dinner more than three miles away.

Turkey vultures are a little short on social graces; if a turkey vulture becomes frightened or over indulges at dinner it is known to have projectile vomit. They also urinate on their own legs to keep cool, and it produces several pellets, made up of indigestible parts, a day – so watch out!

turkey vultures

All that being said, they do bath regularly and preen for up to three hours a day.  They are social birds and have been seen playing follow the leader, tag, and speed soaring in high winds.  These birds are commonly seen soaring above the park in the summer.  There are three turkey vulture roost trees at The Cove Palisades.  Two are in the Cottonwood trees in the Upper Deschutes Day-use Area and one is in the Deschutes Campground.  Recently, while leading a night hike, we found three very large birds in a Cottonwood tree up in the Crooked River Wetlands Area.

Next week we will look into the dark eyes of a bird that can fly upside down…

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