Native yellow sunflowers in a field
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Scavenger Hunt at Lake Maria 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 sponsor

logo with egret flying in front of sunset Friends of Lake Maria State Park is sponsoring an additional drawing for a $25 gift card to a local outdoors store amongst all entries at 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

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

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

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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6 / 22

CEDAR WAXWING

Appearance: Sleek bird with crest and black mask.
Found: Open woodlands. Very social with flocks moving together as they look for berries and insects to eat.

photo: Judy Gallagher CC2.0/ 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

COMMON GARTER SNAKE

Color: Black with 3 yellow lengthwise stripes.

Found: In the brush or sunning themselves on a paved trail.

No need to fear these reptiles who mind their own business.

photo: Christina Butler/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

NEW ENGLAND ASTER

Blooms: August - October
Found: In fields and wood edges.
Petals: Dainty purple swirl around yellow disk.
Fun Fact: Important late-blooming food source for bees and butterflies.

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12 / 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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< Amphibians & Reptiles      Mammals >

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13 / 22

CHIPMUNK

They are very active and inquisitive and find a home in hollow logs, tree cavities, or underground dens where they store piles of food.

photo: AndiW / WikiMedia CC
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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

RED OAK

Leaf: 7-11 lobes with pointed tips.
Bark: Young trees are smooth but as it ages, become rough with thin cracks.
Fruit: Acorns that feed wildlife.

photos: S. Seiberling / UNC Herbarium; 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

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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< 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

GRASSHOPPER

Found: Near tall grasses in late summer and fall.
Fun Fact: They are jumping phenoms, leaping 20 times their body length, which equates to a human jumping 120 feet.

photo: Will Brown / 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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