Native yellow sunflowers in a field
12

Scavenger Hunt at Rice 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.

Special thanks to our hunt sponsor

Friends of Rice Lake 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

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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2 / 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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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

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

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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6 / 22

DOWNY or HAIRY WOODPECKER

Appearance: These two woodpeckers are nearly identical with the Downy a little smaller at ~6" and Hairy ~9". The female doesn't have the red mark on head.

Found: In the forest.

Photo: Andrew McKinlay/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

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

GRAY-HEADED CONEFLOWER

Blooms: July - August
Found: In sunny fields.
Petals: Droopy yellow petals surround a brownish center.

photo: Bobby Duehring / P&TC photo contest
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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

GOLDENROD

Blooms: July - September
Found: In the sunny areas.
Petals: Branching clusters with small, yellow flowers
Note: MN has 17 types of goldenrod that look similar with small yellow flowers.

photo: Elfosium / Wikimedia CC
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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

COTTONTAIL RABBIT

One of the most common small mammals in MN. Often seen running along trails within thick brush. They live within about the same 5 acres all year long.

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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

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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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

LAND SNAIL

Size & Shape: Tiny (~1" long) and shells are swirls or cones. 
Found:
Around logs, hollow trees and rocks in wooded areas.
Key Role: They eat decaying plants so it can be mixed into the soil and grew new life.

photo: Scott King / iNaturalist CC
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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

SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLY

Color: Yellow with black outline or black with yellow marks.
Shape: Large wings with a set of tails at the end.
Found: Among wildflowers and along rivers, creeks and fields.
Fun Fact: In addition to eating flower nectar they also eat dead animals, dung and urine.

photos: James St. John/WikimediaCC
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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