A happy sight: Minnesota flowers in bloom

Look close enough and you'll discover a new world in the state's floral landscape you never knew existed.

One of Minnesota's most elusive and federally protected wildflowers is the Western Fringed Prairie Orchid, found here blooming on undisturbed virgin Prairie soil north of Luverne.
Photographed through a haze of wild Lupine at the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, a Hairy Puccoon blooms into a mid summer splash of yellow.
Thistle flower, Frontenac State Park.
South Western Minnesota is home to cactus plants like this blooming Prickly Pear Cactus in the Rock Ridge Prairie near Jeffers.
A Pasque flower, one of the first blooming wildflowers on the prairie each spring, emerges from layers of grass on the Seven Sisters Prairie near Ashby.
Hoary Vervain at the Weaver Dunes Scientific and Natural Area near Kellogg.
The water gardens that surround Como Park Conservatory Visitor Center, are full of aquatic plants and lillies.
Queen Anne's Lace covers the hillside prairie at Blue Mounds State Park north of Luverne.
Bunchberry flowers form a lush carpet-like ground cover along the Superior Hiking Trail in the Superior National Forest.
Spiderwort flowers bloom near Sanborn.
An ant climbs on the petals of a yellow flower of a prickly pear cactus in the Rock Ridge Prairie near Jeffers.
Victoria Water Lilies, commonly known as "Blooming Victorias," are on display at Como Park Conservatory.
Purple trillium in full bloom at Eloise Butler Wildflower garden in Minneapolis.
A dragonfly over a patch of Hoary Vervain at the Weaver Dunes Scientific and Natural Area near Kellogg.
A bumblebee drops in on a Wild Lupine at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge.
The official state flower of Minnesota, the Showy Lady's Slipper, in bloom at the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in Minneapolis.
The Large-flowered Beard-tongue is an early bloomer along the rolling grasslands of Glacial Lakes State Park.
Morning dew drops on a Prairie Smoke Plant. This wildflower is among one of the earliest blooming prairie plants of spring and continues through summer with rose-pink colored flowers. Blooming is soon followed by the long plumed seedpods, which look a lot like puffs of smoke.
Wood Lilly blooming at Hole in the Mountain Prairie near Lake Benton.
A dragon fly perches on a lupine, Superior National Forest.
Queen Anne's Lace covers the hillside prairie at Blue Mounds State Park north of Luverne.
The Large-flowered Beard-tongue is an early bloomer along the rolling grasslands of Glacial Lakes State Park.
One of the first flowers to break through a thick litter of fallen oak leaves each spring is the hepatica flower here at Eloise Butler Wildflower garden in Minneapolis.