Native yellow sunflowers in a field
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Scavenger Hunt at Fort Ridgely State Park

Note: The 2022 Scavenger Hunt Season is now closed.

You are welcome to use this scavenger hunt, but there are no more weekly drawings.

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

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

Happy scavenging!

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

 

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1 / 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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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

CHICKEN OF THE WOODS

Appearance: Orange with yellow edge, shelf-like layers.
Found: On decaying stumps and logs or an injured tree in late summer or fall.
CAUTION: Never eat any mushroom unless knowledgeable.

photo: Jean-Pol GRANDMONT/WikimediaCC
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Next: Birds >

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4 / 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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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

AMERICAN CROW

Appearance: All-black bird with a loud call.
Found: Around open areas near patches of woods.
Fun Fact: They are one of the most intelligent birds and live up to 20 years in large, extended families.

photo: Dick Daniels/Carolina Birds
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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

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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< 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

BUTTERFLY WEED

Blooms June - September
Found: In the sun, dry fields, and prairies.
Petals: Flat-topped clusters with up to 25 orange flowers.

photo: Eric Hunt / Wikimedia CC
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12 / 22

LEAD PLANT

Blooms: Jun-Aug
Found: In sunny, sandy fields.
Appearance: 1-3 feet tall. Technically a shrub with woody stems to last through winter.

photo: USFWS
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< Amphibians & Reptiles      Mammals >

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13 / 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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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

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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17 / 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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18 / 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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< Mammals      Arthropods >

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19 / 22

LEAFHOPPER / SPITTLEBUG

Size & Shape: Small bug (~1/4") in variety of different colors.
Spittle:
They surround themselves with bubbles as they eat leaves.

photos: Pixahive & Gbohne/WikimediaCC
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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 note: An adult must fill in the information for anyone age 12 and under.

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

Your score is