Native yellow sunflowers in a field
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Scavenger Hunt at Cascade River 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

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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2 / 22

COMMON GREENSHIELD LICHEN

Appearance:  Looks like a leaf of lettuce glued to a tree. It's pale yellow-green with wrinkly, wavy lobes.
Found: On the trunk of broad leafed trees such as maples, oaks, etc. and shrubs.
Fun Fact: Some people use it to dye wool.

photo: Björn S.../WikimediaCC
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3 / 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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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

BLUE JAY

Appearance: Bold blue and white with crest on its head.
Found: In the forest.
Listen for: Loud shrieks.
Fun Fact: They are considered one of the most intelligent birds and have tight family bonds.

photo: Jongsun Lee / WikiMedia CC
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6 / 22

WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH

Appearance: Gray with white belly. Males have black cap, females have gray cap.
Found: In the forest hopping headfirst down tree trunks.

photo: Steve Ryan, 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

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

WOOD FROG

Color: A masked frog with grayish body.
Found: In forested areas under logs and rocks or in leaf piles. Breed in wetlands and lakes.
Listen for: Ducklike cackling: ca-ha-ha-ac, ca-ha-ha-ac, ca-ha-ha-ac,

photo: Ryan Hodnett / Wikimedia CC
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< Birds       Flowers >

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10 / 22

CANADA ANEMONE

Blooms: May - July
Found: In moist fields and along shores.
Petals: White petals sit atop a long-stem.
Leaves: Large and jagged.

photo: USFS
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11 / 22

BUNCHBERRY

Blooms: May - July
Found: In shade of moist woods and bogs.
Petals: Four white petals.
Leaves: Whirl of smooth, pointed egg-shape. Easy to spot even after the petals are gone.

photo: Lisa Filter / P&TC
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12 / 22

BLUE VERVAIN

Blooms: June - September Plant is 1-3 feet tall.
Found: In sunny, wet ditches and shores.
Petals: Flowers are on spikes 2-5 inches tall. They attract bumblebees and other important pollinators.

photo: Andrew C / Wikimedia CC
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< Amphibians & Reptiles      Mammals >

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13 / 22

RACCOON

Notorious as evening visitor to campsites where it will help itself to any food that's left out.

photo: Mick Rollins / P&TC photo contest
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14 / 22

RED SQUIRREL

A cute little critter with a loud bark/chatter. The white ring around its eye only adds to the cuteness.

photo: Pixabay
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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

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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17 / 22

BALSAM FIR

Needles: Lay flat on twig and each needle is flat, soft and blunt-tipped.
Bark: Smoothish gray with horizontal ridges.
Smell: When needles are broken they give off a smell that reminds many people of Christmas.

photos: MnDNR
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18 / 22

WHITE PINE

Needles: Clusters of five wispy needles (memory device: 5 needles for the 5 letters in WHITE).
Bark: Smooth and green-gray when young; furrowed and gray-brown when older.
Fun Fact: A favorite for bald eagles to nest.

photo: 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

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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< 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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