Native yellow sunflowers in a field
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Scavenger Hunt at Afton

Welcome! You are tasked with finding up to 22 "items" from these categories:

  • Mushrooms/Lichens
  • Birds
  • Amphibians/Reptiles
  • Wildflowers
  • Mammals
  • Trees
  • Arthropods

Whether you find just 1 or all 22, you can enter the weekly drawing for a $20 gift card to Minnesota State Parks by filling out the form at the end of the hunt. Winners are selected each week among all participating parks.

Happy scavenging!

Note: Icon below shows # of entries at this park for the year.
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1 / 22

TINDER CONK (HOOF) MUSHROOM

Appearance: Looks like a horse hoof on a tree.
Found: Mostly on birch trees.
Fun Fact: The famous mummy, "Otzi the Iceman" was carrying this mushroom to use as tinder.
CAUTION: Never eat mushrooms unless knowledgeable. This slow-growing mushroom cannot be harvested in state parks

photo: Photo © Walter Baxter
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2 / 22

RIM LICHENS

Appearance: Pale white-green-yellow with waxy surface. Inner area forms cup-like bodies with yellowish centers.
Found: Forms like a crust on rocks.

photo: PJason Hollinger/WikimediaCC
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3 / 22

SPLIT GILL

Appearance: Clusters of white, fan-shaped caps with fuzzy tops and gills under.
Found: On stumps, logs, and sticks of dead hardwood, especially oak.
Fun Fact: One of the most common mushrooms on the planet.
CAUTION: Never eat any mushroom unless knowledgeable.

photo: Mark Lingl/P&TC Contest
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Next: Birds >

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4 / 22

MALLARD

Male: Green head.
Female: Mottled brown
Found: Swimming in lakes/rivers.

photo: Fcb981 / Wikimedia CC
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5 / 22

MARSH WREN

Tiny bird that holds it tail up straight. Found bouncing around marshes filled with cattails and rushes, occasionally atop a cattail singing.

photo: Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
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6 / 22

WILD TURKEY

Males fan their tails to attract females and scare off others. Sleep in trees at night and are actually strong fliers.

photo: Burton Robert, USFWS
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< Mushrooms       Reptiles >

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7 / 22

PAINTED TURTLE

Color: Red-orange bottom shell (appears painted on) and black-olive upper shell. Yellow stripes on neck.
Found: On logs in lakes.

These rather adorable reptiles are docile and have no teeth.

photo: Steven Katovich / Bugwood.org CC
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8 / 22

AMERICAN TOAD

Color: Brown, olive green, or reddish.

Found: Near water or moist areas.

Toads are amphibians that start life as tadpoles then emerge onto dry land as tiny toadlets about the length of a fingernail.

photo: National Park Service
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9 / 22

COMMON GARTER SNAKE

Color: Black with 3 yellow lengthwise stripes.

Found: In the brush or sunning themselves on a paved trail.

No need to fear these reptiles who mind their own business.

photo: Christina Butler/Wikimedia CC
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< Birds       Flowers >

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10 / 22

COLUMBINE

Blooms: May - July
Found: On cliffs and forest edges.
Petals: Red/pink with club-like petals.
Fun Fact: Hummingbirds drink nectar from this flower.

photo: Jelieta Walinski/P&TC photo contest
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11 / 22

JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT

Blooms: April - June
Found: In shade of moist woods.
Petals: Blends in with leaves. Tube-shaped with a hood. In late summer, a cluster of bright red berries appears.
Leaf: 3 large leaves on a tall stem can be found long into summer.

photo: Philip Bouchard / FlickrCC
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12 / 22

WILD BERGAMOT

Blooms: June - September
Found: In sunny fields,
Petals: Shaggy pink petals and is great for birds and butterflies.

photo: Joshua Mayer/FlickrCC
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< Amphibians & Reptiles      Mammals >

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13 / 22

GRAY SQUIRREL

Found across Minnesota from woods to urban yards. Build leaf nests in summer.

photo: BirdPhotos.com / WikiMedia CC
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14 / 22

COTTONTAIL RABBIT

One of the most common small mammals in MN. Often seen running along trails within thick brush. They live within about the same 5 acres all year long.

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15 / 22

WHITETAIL DEER

One of the largest mammals in MN yet camouflaged and stealthy. Sleeps in different spot each night. Only males grow antlers.

photos: Justin Pruden / P&TC photo contest
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< Flowers       Trees >

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16 / 22

BUR OAK

Leaf: 7-9 rounded lobes with deep and shallow notches. Tips large and wavy.
Fruit: Acorn with fringe around cup. These feed many wildlife.
Tree Form: Relatively short trunk with heavy, sprawling branches

photos: MnDNR
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17 / 22

QUAKING ASPEN

Leaf: Rounded with saw-tooth edge. Leafstalk is flattened, which allow it to "quake" in the breeze.
Try: If you find a leaf try rolling it by its stem with your fingers to feel the way it moves.
Bark: Greenish-white and smooth upper with black splotches. Base is grayish and furrowed.

photos: MnDNR
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18 / 22

RED OAK

Leaf: 7-11 lobes with pointed tips.
Bark: Young trees are smooth but as it ages, become rough with thin cracks.
Fruit: Acorns that feed wildlife.

photos: S. Seiberling / UNC Herbarium; MnDNR
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< Mammals      Arthropods >

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19 / 22

MONARCH BUTTERFLY

Color: Bright orange with black veins.
Found: Flying around wildflowers.
Fun Fact:
They fly down to Mexico before winter begins.

photo: Peter Miller / Flickr CC
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20 / 22

DRAGONFLIES / DAMSELFLIES

Appearance: 140 species in MN come in a rainbow of colors.
Dragonfly: Bigger and keep wings spread out when resting.
Damselfly: Smaller and close their wings when resting.
Fun Fact: They can fly upside down, backward, and turn 360° on a dime.

photos: John Wright / Flickr CC; Jim Johnson / iNaturalist CC; Wayne Fidler / iNaturalist CC
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21 / 22

GRASSHOPPER

Found: Near tall grasses in late summer and fall.
Fun Fact: They are jumping phenoms, leaping 20 times their body length, which equates to a human jumping 120 feet.

photo: Will Brown / WikiMedia CC
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< Trees      Write-In >

22 / 22

WHAT OTHER INTERESTING THINGS DID YOU FIND?

Fill in the following information to be entered in our weekly drawing for a $20 gift card to Minnesota State Parks, which will be mailed to the winner.

You may also opt to receive this 4"x 4" window cling with dots showing each Minnesota State Park.

state of mn with dots for each state park

 

Please mail me this window cling and more info about Parks & Trails Council of MN

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