Native yellow sunflowers in a field
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Scavenger Hunt - Big Stone Lake State Park

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

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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2 / 22

ELEGANT SUNBURST LICHEN

Appearance: Rich red-orange rosettes with radiating fingerlike lobes.
Found: Common on rocky shores. Found on every continent except Australia.
Fun Fact: Thrives under bird perches where it absorbs nitrogen from poop.

photo: Björn S.../WikimediaCC
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3 / 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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Next: Birds >

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4 / 22

BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE

Appearance: Back cap and chin.
Found: Year-round residents of MN forests and common visitor to bird-feeders.
Fun Fact: A friendly bird that has been known to eat seeds from human's hands.

photo: Minette Layne / Wikimedia Commons
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5 / 22

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD

Male: All black with red/yellow patch on wings.
Female: Brown/white stripes/patches.
Found: Perching on reeds near water edge.

photos: Akiroq / Pixabay; Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren / WikiMedia CC
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6 / 22

GREAT EGRET

Appearance: All white with yellow bill.
Found: Near edge of a lake or pond where they slowing walk looking for small fish to spear.

They were once hunted to near extinction for their feathers, now fairly common.

photo: Robert Woeger / Pixabay
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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

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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9 / 22

NORTHERN LEOPARD FROG

Color: Bright green with spots that look like a leopard.
Found: In wet meadows and fields near wetlands or lakeshores.
Listen for: Long, deep snore lasting several seconds and ending with "chuck-chuck-chuck"

photo: Ryan Hodnett / Wikimedia CC
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< Birds       Flowers >

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10 / 22

COMMON MILKWEED

Blooms: June - August
Commonly Found: Along shores and wood edges.
Petal Color: Pink or white.
Fun Fact: Monarchs lay their eggs soley on milkweed.

photo: USFWS
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11 / 22

PURPLE CONEFLOWER

Blooms: June - October
Found: In sunny fields.
Appearance: Tall flower with 15-20 pink-purple petals swirling around a reddish-brown center.

photos: Pixabay
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12 / 22

GOLDENROD

Blooms: July - September
Found: In the sunny areas.
Petals: Branching clusters with small, yellow flowers
Note: MN has 17 types of goldenrod that look similar with small yellow flowers.

photo: Elfosium / Wikimedia CC
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< Amphibians & Reptiles      Mammals >

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13 / 22

BAT

A mammal that flies! Look for them in the sky at dusk as they swoop and dart to snatch up insects. MN is home to 7 bat species. Some hibernate in caves in winter while others migrate south.

[photo: Richard Hurd/FlickrCC]
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14 / 22

FOX SQUIRREL

The largest tree squirrel in MN. Reddish fur on chin, belly, chest and feet. Build leaf nests in summer.

photo: Nancy Jahnel / P&TC photo contest
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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

EASTERN COTTONWOOD

Leaves: Triangular.
Bark: Light gray on young trees and dark gray and rough on older trees.
Fruit: Fluffy, cottony catkins that disperse in wind in May - June.

photos: MnDNR
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17 / 22

SILVER MAPLE

Leaves: Same shape as all maples (think Canada flag) but very jagged with deep notches.
Bark: Smooth when young, becomes shaggy with age.
Found: In floodplains and can withstand seasonal floods.

photo: MnDNR
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18 / 22

GREEN ASH

Leaves: 7-9 leaflets per stem.
Bark: Dark brown tinged with red; strongly ridged.
Note: An invasive insect known as the emerald ash borer is spreading across the state and killing off many ash trees.

photos: MnDNR
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< Mammals      Arthropods >

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19 / 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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20 / 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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21 / 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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< 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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