Native yellow sunflowers in a field
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Scavenger Hunt at Monson Lake 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

 

Special thanks to our hunt sponsor

GlacialRidgeTrail.psd Glacial Ridge Trail Association.

Happy scavenging!

Note: Icon below shows # of entries at this park for the year.
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1 / 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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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

ORANGE PEEL

Appearance: Bright orange, cup-shape opens to saucer-shape.
Found: On bare ground along trails.
CAUTION: Never eat any mushroom unless knowledgeable.

photos: The High Fin Sperm Whale/WikiMediaCC
Aiwok/WikimediaCC
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Next: Birds >

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4 / 22

NORTHERN CARDINAL

Male: Bold red with crest on head.
Female/Immature Male: Brownish-red.
Found: In open woodlands and common visitor to bird-feeders.
Listen for: Loud, sweet whistle songs.

photo: Jack Bulmer /Pixabay
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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

MARSH WREN

Tiny bird that holds it tail up straight. Found bouncing around marshes filled with cattails and rushes, occasionally atop a cattail singing.

photo: Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
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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

SWAMP MILKWEED

Blooms: June - September
Found: In sunny wet fields or swamps along the shore.
Petals: Cluster of pink flowers on tall stalk.

photos: Linda Flickinger / P&TC photo contest
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12 / 22

BLUE FLAG IRIS

Blooms: May - August
Found: In part shade to sun in wet meadows.
Petals: Typical iris shape, 3 to 4 inches across, blue to blue-violet, sometimes red-purple and rarely pale blue.

photo: Jennifer Quam / P&TC photo contest
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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

WHITE OAK

Leaf: 5-9 finger-like lobes that can be notched deeply or shallow.
Bark: Pale gray with scaly ridges and shallow fissures.
Acorn: light brown and enclosed in a bowl-shaped cap.

photo: MnDNR
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17 / 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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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

ANT

The lowly ant plays an important role in the environment. They aerate the soil, which helps plants grow; they keep things tidy by feeding on organic waste, and dead animals; and some wildflowers (such as trillium, bloodroot and violets) rely on them to transport their seeds.

photo: Galpert / WikiMediaCC
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20 / 22

MOSQUITO

Bzzzzz...thwap! Lucky you--you found a mosquito. At least you can check it off the list, even if, like most people, you weren't happy to find it.

photo: James Gathany / Flickr 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 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