It’s not a season. It’s a moment. A glance. You see it, then something changes — the clouds obscure a shaft of sunlight, a gust of wind ripples the surface of the water, it starts to rain (or snow) again — and it’s gone.

That’s early spring in Minnesota. And that’s exactly what staff photographer Brian Peterson captured. From Caribou Lake north of Duluth to the banks of Mississippi River in Minneapolis to Whitetail Woods Regional Park in Lakeville, he discovered simple, often overlooked sights. Whether it was the grace of a pasque flower breaking through the snow (above) at Grey Cloud Dunes Scientific and Natural Area in Cottage Grove, or a resilient oak leaf melting the ice on Schulze Lake in Eagan, he trained his camera lens on the beauty on display, however briefly, in our most mercurial season.