Native yellow sunflowers in a field
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Scavenger Hunt at Fort Snelling 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

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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2 / 22

BIRD'S NEST FUNGI

Appearance: Tiny fungi (less than 1/2 inch) that really do look like tiny bird's nests with eggs.
Found: In damp areas (after a rain) on sticks, wood chips, or humus. They do not grow on logs or bare ground.
CAUTION: Never eat any mushroom unless knowledgeable.

photo: Jo Zimny / Flickr CC
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3 / 22

ELM OYSTER MUSHROOM

Appearance: White or creamy color rounded cap that flattens with age. Gills closely spaced.
Found: Aug-Dec growing from a branch scar or other wound high in a living tree, especially elm.
CAUTION: Never eat any mushroom unless knowledgeable.

photo: Matt Welter / Wikimedia CC & Ryan Hodnett / Wikimedia CC
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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

CANADA GOOSE

Appearance: Long, black neck and a white chinstrap.
Found: Gathered in groups in lakes/ponds or open fields.
Listen for: Loud honking sounds.

photo: Joe Ravi / Wikimedia Commons
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6 / 22

HOODED MERGANSER

Appearance: Striking water bird. Females have a reddish crest that looks like hair on neck. Males have black and white crest that is sometimes raised, sometimes down.
Found: Swimming in the water.

photo: Judy Gallagher/FlickrCC
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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

JEWELWEED

Blooms: July - September
Found: In thickets along shorelines or wetlands.
Petals: Orange or yellow horn-like shape.
Try: Gently pinch the base of petals and tiny seeds may explode outward!

photo: Blue Ridge Kitties / FlickrCC
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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

BEAVER (lodge or chew marks)

Lodges (Beaver homes): Look in shallow water for mounds of sticks. Beavers made these by chewing, carrying and placing each stick in place with mud. The entrance is underwater.
Chew Marks: Beavers gnaw on trees to fell them and use them in building dams. The marks are unique to beavers and one of the best signs of beaver presence.

[photos: Kyle T. Ford/P&TC photo contest; Keith William/FlickrCC]
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14 / 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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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

BLACK WILLOW

Leaves: 3-6" long and shiny green.
Bark: Grayish-brown to black, fibrous, deeply furrowed.
Found: In moist areas along streams, lakes, swamps.

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

LAND SNAIL

Size & Shape: Tiny (~1" long) and shells are swirls or cones. 
Found:
Around logs, hollow trees and rocks in wooded areas.
Key Role: They eat decaying plants so it can be mixed into the soil and grew new life.

photo: Scott King / iNaturalist CC
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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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