Spring at The Cove, as everything is coming to life, is one of the most beautiful times of year. Much like an Easter egg hunt, spring does not scream like a neon sign but special joys can be sought out and treasured, all the more remarkable for their rarity.
Historically, areas within the park were farmed; however most of the farming areas and orchards are now under Lake Billy Chinook or were abandoned for lack of irrigation. Yet another treasure to discover, this apple blossom is from a lone apple tree near the Crooked River Campground.
Wildflowers like balsam root, lupine, Indian paintbrush, serviceberry, bitterroot, desert parsley, aster, and campus lily, dot the hillsides in a rainbow of colors. Unlike a zoo, you can’t instantly find and walk up to a wild animal at The Cove; but if you are quiet and patient, you can enjoy the chorus of bird song, crickets and frogs and look for new park residents as our baby animals start to explore their new world.
It is a spectacular time of year to bring your kayak and glide along the water’s edge pondering the age-old stories etched in stone of violent eruptions and determined rivers – or drop in a line. Eagles and vultures are soaring above Lake Billy Chinook; as swallows dart to and fro in search of mud and insects. If you hike the Tam A Lau trail, warmer temperatures are causing our reptiles to wake from hibernation, western fence lizards, stripped plateau whiptail lizards, and bull snakes have been spotted out and about.