Native yellow sunflowers in a field
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Scavenger Hunt at Moose Lake 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

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

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

ELEGANT SUNBURST LICHEN

Appearance: Rich red-orange rosettes with radiating fingerlike lobes.
Found: Common on rocky shores. Found on every continent except Australia.
Fun Fact: Thrives under bird perches where it absorbs nitrogen from poop.

photo: Björn S.../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

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD

Male: All black with red/yellow patch on wings.
Female: Brown/white stripes/patches.
Found: Perching on reeds near water edge.

photos: Akiroq / Pixabay; Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren / WikiMedia CC
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6 / 22

SCARLET TANAGER

Appearance: Male is red with black wings; female is yellowish-gray.
Found: High up in mature, large forests.
Fun Fact: Migrate to Central and South America.

photo: Kelly Colgan Azar/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

WOOD FROG

Color: A masked frog with grayish body.
Found: In forested areas under logs and rocks or in leaf piles. Breed in wetlands and lakes.
Listen for: Ducklike cackling: ca-ha-ha-ac, ca-ha-ha-ac, ca-ha-ha-ac,

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

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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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

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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17 / 22

RIVER BIRCH

Leaves: Oval to triangle shaped with double-toothed edge and hairy leafstalk.
Bark: Very papery and exfoliating with white, brown, salmon colors; becoming dark brown and furrowed or platy with age.

photo: MnDNR
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18 / 22

QUAKING ASPEN

Leaf: Rounded with saw-tooth edge. Leafstalk is flattened, which allow it to "quake" in the breeze.
Try: If you find a leaf try rolling it by its stem with your fingers to feel the way it moves.
Bark: Greenish-white and smooth upper with black splotches. Base is grayish and furrowed.

photos: MnDNR
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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 mail me this window cling and more info about Parks & Trails Council of MN

Your score is