Camping in Summer Heat

It’s summer!  Time to hook up the boat and load the car with family, pets, coolers, the kitchen sink? and then …head for the lake.  Before you go, take a few minutes to do your homework so your trip is memorable for the right reasons.

Is a Volvo XC90 the Right Car for Your Family?

THINGS TO CHECK BEFORE YOU GO:

WEATHER – They say in Central Oregon if you don’t like the weather, wait fifteen minutes and it’ll change.  Needless to say, if you are planning a trip to The Cove, you need to be prepared.  It can be hot and dry, thunderstorms can pop up out of nowhere, wind can blow over your carefully set up camp.

FIRE DANGER – Check fire danger in the area that you are going.

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According to Central Oregon Fire Info – Whether accidental or intentional, people start wildfires every year in Central Oregon. These wildfires cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to suppress and endanger lives and our natural resources. Let’s all do our part to protect these places we live by being diligent with our ignitions and leaving all fireworks at home.

START IT RIGHT

  • Make sure it’s legal to have a campfire!
  • Keep your fire small and manageable
  • Keep your fire contained inside a fire ring or clear an area and build your own ring
  • NEVER leave your campfire unattended – even if you’re just leaving for a few hours
  • Have a shovel and water available
  • Keep your firewood stored at least 10 feet away from your ring

STOP IT RIGHT

  • Slowly add water to put out all flames
  • Stir, scrape and separate coals
  • Add water until the steaming stops
  • Feel for heat using the back of your hand over the coals.
  • Continue to add water and stir until no heat remains

TRIP PLANS – it’s always a good idea whether you are camping, hiking, boating or hunting that you fill out a trip plan and leave it with family or friends.  Just in case you get lost or hurt, a plan will help search and rescue personnel find you much faster.  Don’t forget to get a map of where you are going too!

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THINGS TO BRING:

ICE – by keeping food cold,  you and your family stay safe.  Block ice lasts much longer than bags of cubed ice.  These are essential for coolers – don’t leave them in the sun or on the hot asphalt either!

WATER – Don’t underestimate the value of drinking plenty of water when camping in hot climates. On an average day, we lose more than 10 cups of water just in the course of our basic bodily functions such as breathing, sweating and waste eliminations.   How to plan how much water to bring:

  • Adults: 2 cups (about 1/2 liter) of water for every 1 hour of hiking
  • Children: 1-2 cups of water for every hour of hiking

So, if you calculate that your hike will be 5 hours, then you need to bring at least 10 cups (2.3 liters) of water per person.  Obviously, if it is a hot day, then you are going to need to drink a lot more water.  In hot or humid conditions, calculate 4 cups (1 liter) per hour, per person!  Bear in mind that these are just general rules!  Some people drink a lot more water than this.  However, it is a good guideline to go by.

ALTERNATIVE COOKING METHODS – most of the time, if you can’t have a wood  campfire or charcoal BBQ, you can have a gas camp stove.  It may lack the quintessential smell and look of a wood campfire but you won’t go hungry and it’s a lot safer.

TARPS/ROPE – when picking out your campsite, look for plants that can provide shelter, shade, and insulate you from the sun (like trees and grass).   Even best laid plans may leave you high and dry (or wet) –  you never know if you’ll need additional shade or a respite from an unplanned thunderstorm or a layer between you and a flood so bring a couple of tarps and rope to tie them down.

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PETS

As a park ranger, one of the most frustrating things is to witness a pet that no one planned appropriately for, that is suffering.  Remember when your pet is somewhere new unfamiliar environments may make your pet act differently than they would at home.  Make sure your dog wears their ID tags on a collar at all times. ID tags should have a phone number that you can be reached at while camping.  They are likely bombarded with unfamiliar people, smells, sounds, wildlife and other pets.  Plan for your pet and remember to bring their leash.   Pets need plenty of water and shade too.  Plan some quiet, downtime and bring things that are familiar like a favorite toy or bed to sleep on.  Don’t leave you pet in the car.  According to the SPCA, ten minutes is all that’s needed for the inside of a car to reach 102 degrees on an 85 degree day. In thirty minutes, the car will be around 120 degrees.  The same study found opening the windows a bit for extra air didn’t help; the cars heated up at a similar rate.

DSCN3370For more tips, see Know Before You Go – Have a fun summer vacation!

5th Annual Eagle Watch Art Contest Winners Announced

McKaylie Capps, 12th grade, Redmond High School
– BEST IN SHOW –

The 5th annual Eagle Watch Art contest encourages students from Jefferson, Deschutes and Crook Counties to show their knowledge and love for birds of prey!  (Native bald or golden eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures and owls are encouraged.)

Judges are made up of a panel from Eagle Watch partners – Jill Nishball, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Thad Fitzhenery, Portland General Electric and Stacy Lacey, United States Forest Service. Winners are chosen based on creativity and originality of their chosen medium by grade level. This year students from six Central Oregon Schools submitted amazingly creative representations of these mighty birds and their habitats in eight different mediums.

Awards will be given out at Eagle Watch, a “Culver Tradition” since 1996, on Saturday, February 23rd at 12:30 pm.  Congratulations to all this year’s winners!

Kay Olivera 10th grade Redmond High School
– BEST IN SHOW –

Madeline Gardner, Cascade Middle School

Technical Category for High School/Prezi Presentation – Red Tailed Hawks – Jesus H., Culver High School


Honorable Mention Awards went to:

  • Info/Drawing (6-8) – Magdalena Rowe, Cascade Middle School
  • Pen & Ink (6-8) – Mielle Sebulsky, Cascade Middle School
  • Pencil Drawing (6-8) – Kristen Forrester, Culver Middle School 
  • Mixed Media (4-5) – Abby Powers, Black Butte School
  • Mixed Media (6-8) – Oberline Short, Lauren Burkey, Isabella Richads, Culver Middle School
  • Photography (6-8) – Logan Macy, Culver Middle School
  • Colored Drawings (6-8) – Kailee Macy, Culver Middle School
  • Ceramics (9-12) – Alix Kostrba, Redmond High School

 

Fire Ban in Effect Statewide

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.

Partial Fire Restriction at The Cove

 

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Photo by Hasan Albari on Pexels.com

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.

Bats at The Cove

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 –

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Little Brown Bat

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California Myotis

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Western Small-footed Myotis

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Canyon Bat

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Hoary Bat

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.

2018 Programa de ¡Vamos a Acampar!

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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.

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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

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Photo (c) Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International, www.batcon.org.

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

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Townsend Big Eared Bat – listed as a sensitive species in Oregon – photo credit: encyclopedia of Puget Sound

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.

Extra Fun-facts

  • 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

Sign Up to Kayak at The Cove

“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

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