Three weeks ago I didn't know Cove Palisades State Park existed. Now I have been there and deliver you, both readers, the following images:
|western tanager (it was in focus in real life)|
|Golden-mantled ground squirrel. It will thank you not to call it a chipmunk.|
|western fence lizard (fence not shown)|
|View down a cliff over the convergence of the Crooked and Deschutes rivers|
|Nearing sunset over the Billy Chinook reservoir. "Billy Chinook?" Yes.|
|Gopher snake that wants humans to think it's a rattlesnake.|
The park and vicinity features, among other things, the weirdly-named Lake Billy Chinook; western tanagers who love dropped pieces of pasta; bald eagles who love staring out commandingly over the lake and soaring above it all alongside golden eagles, osprey, turkey buzzards, red-tailed hawks, and other raptors; western fence lizards who do adorable push-ups to prove their rock is their rock; golden-mantled ground squirrels who are a little too willing to allow human photographers to sneak a little too close; gopher snakes who appear from nowhere and scare the parks service employees more than they want to admit; and very, very cold nights, especially when experienced within a tent that doesn't quite want to close.
In short, it offers spectacular and varied high desert scenery.