Native yellow sunflowers in a field
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Scavenger Hunt at Beaver Creek Valley

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

LIPSTICK POWDERHORN LICHEN

Appearance: Red tips on a green stalk that are about 1 inch tall.
Found: On dead wood and often at the bases of trees.

photo: bjoerns/WikimediaCC
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2 / 22

ARTIST'S CONK

Appearance: Semi-circle with brown top and pure white underside.
Found: On tree trunks of hardwood trees and some conifers.
CAUTION: Never eat any mushroom unless knowledgeable.

photos: Cyndy Sims Parr/FlickrCC
George Chernilevsky/Public domain
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3 / 22

BLACK KNOT FUNGUS

Appearance:  Looks like a cat's dropping attached to a twig.
Found: On cherry and plum trees.
Note: While this fungus isn't good for the tree, many live fine with it.

photo: Sasata/Wikimedia CC
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Next: Birds >

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4 / 22

BELTED KINGFISHER

Top-heavy bird that flies quickly over water where it spends most of its time. Makes a piercing rattle sound. Males and females similar.

photo: Kevin Cole from Pacific Coast / WikiMedia CC
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5 / 22

GREAT BLUE HERON

Appearance: Large bird with long legs, neck, and bill.
Found: Wading along shorelines or flying low over water.

photo: Alpinekid / Wikimedia CC
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6 / 22

AMERICAN GOLDFINCH

Appearance: Brilliant yellow with black wings and cap.
Found: In areas with thistle plants and usually in small flocks.

photo: Mdf / WikiMedia CC
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< Mushrooms       Reptiles >

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7 / 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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8 / 22

SKINK

Size: 5-8 inches.
Color:
Shiny black, brown, or green with stripes.
Found: Along stream banks or grasslands and rocky areas.
MN has 3 species of skink, that look similar

photo: Pixahive
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9 / 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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< Birds       Flowers >

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10 / 22

BLACK-EYED SUSAN

Blooms: June - October Cheery yellow petals swirl around a black center.
Found: Sunny fields, along roads or lakeshores.
Petals: Cheery yellow petals swirl around a black center.

photo: Luke Lawreszuk / Sprayedout.com
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11 / 22

SWAMP MILKWEED

Blooms: June - September
Found: In sunny wet fields or swamps along the shore.
Petals: Cluster of pink flowers on tall stalk.

photos: Linda Flickinger / P&TC photo contest
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12 / 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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< Amphibians & Reptiles      Mammals >

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13 / 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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14 / 22

CHIPMUNK

They are very active and inquisitive and find a home in hollow logs, tree cavities, or underground dens where they store piles of food.

photo: AndiW / WikiMedia CC
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15 / 22

MUSKRAT (or its lodge)

Not actually a rat, this creature is a close cousin to beavers, except muskrats' tails look similar to rat tails.
Found: In ponds, marshes and streams.
Lodges (Muskrat homes): Mounds made from mud and vegetation such as cattails and other plants woody materials.

photo: Don Burkett/FlickrCC & Brianne/FlickrCC
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< Flowers       Trees >

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16 / 22

BASSWOOD (LINDEN)

Leaf: Heart-shaped with jagged teeth. Bees love to make honey from basswood flowers.
Bark: Smooth grayish red when young. Grayish brown with shallow, narrow ridges.
Fruit: Small nutlet under leafy bract.

photos: MnDNR; University of NE-Lincoln
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17 / 22

HACKBERRY

Leaves: skinny and pointed with jagged teeth.
Bark: Corky
Fruit: Berry-like fruit that birds love.

photos: MnDNR
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18 / 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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< Mammals      Arthropods >

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19 / 22

LADYBUGS (Ladybird Beetles)

Size & Shape: Most common ones are the non-native species (shown in photo) that are reddish with black spots. Minnesota is home to 50+ species of rare ladybugs.

photos: Dominik Stodulski/Wikimedia CC & Larah McElroy/FlickrCC
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20 / 22

SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLY

Color: Yellow with black outline or black with yellow marks.
Shape: Large wings with a set of tails at the end.
Found: Among wildflowers and along rivers, creeks and fields.
Fun Fact: In addition to eating flower nectar they also eat dead animals, dung and urine.

photos: James St. John/WikimediaCC
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21 / 22

SPIDERWEB

Often invisible until the sun hits it just right. Spiders create these fantastic contraptions to catch prey. The silk is made in glands on the spider's abdomen. Many spiders will eat their own web each day and rebuild a new one the next day.

photo: Aaron Kostko/P&TC Photo Contest
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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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