One of the first prairie flowers to bloom in the spring are the pasque flowers.  They thrive in gravel prairies and are found in various areas throughout Minnesota.  Yesterday I ventured south of the Twin Cities to a Minnesota Scientific and Natural Area.  When I first arrived, the morning was cool and overcast, but I was thrilled to have found a wonderful slope dotted with these small pasque flowers.  Standing only 4 to 5 inches tall, they are easily overlooked from a distance.  As I walked along I found more and more of these little gems pushing their blooms up from under the brown grasses.  I spent over an hour photographing, all the while accompanied by the sounds of Canada geese and mourning doves.   As I stopped to take in the beauty of the landscape around me the skies slowly cleared and I was treated to a warm sun and beautiful pasque flowers against a blue sky — a delightful and wonderful welcome to spring.