Native yellow sunflowers in a field
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Scavenger Hunt at Lake Louise 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.

Special thanks to our hunt sponsors

Friends of the Shooting Star State Trail + Minnesota Trail Riders Association are sponsoring two additional drawings for $25 "chamber bucks" amongst all entries from this park on Sept. 13.

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

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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3 / 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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Next: Birds >

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4 / 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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5 / 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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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

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

NODDING WILD ONION

Blooms: July - August
Found: In moist soil, so look along shorelines or in wet swales.
Petals: Pompom-like cluster of pink.
Note: This is a species of special concern in MN.

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12 / 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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< Amphibians & Reptiles      Mammals >

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13 / 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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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

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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17 / 22

AMERICAN ELM

Leaf: Oval with double-edged teeth. Feel rough when rubbed.
Bark: Long trunk that's ashy gray with many furrows/ridges that get deeper with age.
Note: Dutch elm disease killed off many of these trees across the Eastern U.S. in the 1970s and today prevents many from reaching full age.

photos: MnDNR
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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

CATERPILLARS

There are many types of caterpillars roaming around in Minnesota parks. They may be fuzzy, stripy, or plain, and each will transform into a moth or butterfly. The ones here are the Tussock Moth (top left), the Woolybear (bottom left), and the Monarch, which can be found on milkweed plants.

photo: Lisa Filter/P&TC; 1sock / FlickrCC; Maria L. Evans / Wikimedia CC
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20 / 22

PILL BUG (Roly Poly)

Found: Lift up a large rock or log on the forest floor and you may see this bug scuttle away.
Fun Fact: They can roll up into a ball shape.
Key Role: They eat decaying plant material so it can be mixed into the soil and grew new life.

photo: Twosistersinthewild / Wikimedia CC
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21 / 22

MONARCH BUTTERFLY

Color: Bright orange with black veins.
Found: Flying around wildflowers.
Fun Fact:
They fly down to Mexico before winter begins.

photo: Peter Miller / Flickr 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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