Native yellow sunflowers in a field
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Scavenger Hunt at Old Mill 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 2, 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

Friends of Old Mill 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

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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2 / 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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3 / 22

NORTHERN TOOTH

Appearance: Layers of wavy, shelf-like white/yellow caps with hairy surfaces.
Found: High on trunks of living hardwood trees, especially sugar maples.
CAUTION: Never eat any mushroom unless knowledgeable.

photo: Joseph O'Brien/USDA FS via bugwood.org
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Next: Birds >

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4 / 22

AMERICAN ROBIN

Appearance: Red-orange belly and black-gray top.

Found: Hopping on ground looking for worms to pull up and eat, or perched in trees signing.

photo: Mdf / WikiMedia CC
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5 / 22

MALLARD

Male: Green head.
Female: Mottled brown
Found: Swimming in lakes/rivers.

photo: Fcb981 / Wikimedia CC
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6 / 22

KILLDEER

Appearance: Long legs, black necklace and red eye.
Found: Flying close to the ground amid dry, gravel fields.
Listen for: Shrill call that sounds like "kill-jer".
Fun Fact: Sometimes pretend to have a broken wing to lure invaders away from its nest.

photo: Rodney Campbell/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

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

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

LEAD PLANT

Blooms: Jun-Aug
Found: In sunny, sandy fields.
Appearance: 1-3 feet tall. Technically a shrub with woody stems to last through winter.

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

FOX SQUIRREL

The largest tree squirrel in MN. Reddish fur on chin, belly, chest and feet. Build leaf nests in summer.

photo: Nancy Jahnel / P&TC photo contest
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15 / 22

SNOWSHOE HARE

Very similar to the common cottontail. Has larger feet and black edge around its ears. In winter they turn white.

photo: Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar/FlickrCC
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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

GREEN ASH

Leaves: 7-9 leaflets per stem.
Bark: Dark brown tinged with red; strongly ridged.
Note: An invasive insect known as the emerald ash borer is spreading across the state and killing off many ash trees.

photos: MnDNR
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18 / 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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< 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

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