Native yellow sunflowers in a field
3

Scavenger Hunt at St. Croix 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

CROWN-TIPPED CORAL MUSHROOM

Appearance: Many-branched, coral-like mushroom; yellowish tan with crownlike tips.
Found: On old logs on the forest floor in June–September.
CAUTION: Never eat any mushroom unless knowledgeable.

photo: Kate Stephany / P&TC photo contest
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2 / 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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3 / 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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Next: Birds >

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4 / 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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5 / 22

GREAT BLUE HERON

Appearance: Large bird with long legs, neck, and bill.
Found: Wading along shorelines or flying low over water.

photo: Alpinekid / 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

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

COLUMBINE

Blooms: May - July
Found: On cliffs and forest edges.
Petals: Red/pink with club-like petals.
Fun Fact: Hummingbirds drink nectar from this flower.

photo: Jelieta Walinski/P&TC photo contest
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11 / 22

BLACK-EYED SUSAN

Blooms: June - October Cheery yellow petals swirl around a black center.
Found: Sunny fields, along roads or lakeshores.
Petals: Cheery yellow petals swirl around a black center.

photo: Luke Lawreszuk / Sprayedout.com
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12 / 22

BLAZING STAR

Blooms: July - September
Found: In prairies, open woods, along roads.
Petals: Feathery pink flowers with grasslike leaves grow in clumps in prairies.

photo: Angela C / Pixabay
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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

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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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

JACK PINE

Needles: pretty short, about 1-2" long and grow in clusters of two.
Bark: Dull red-brown; irregularly divided into small scales.
Pinecones: Small cones are serotinous, meaning they rely on fire to open and release their seeds.

photos: 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

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

CICADA

Appearance: One of the largest insects in MN with lacy wings.
Molted Shells: As they grow they leave behind hollow shells attached to tree trunks.
Fun Fact: Their humming can be louder than a lawn mower and is mostly heard in the afternoon. They do not bite and are gentle bugs.

photo: piqsels.com & Ryan Hodnett/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 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