Roseate spoonbills

Photo: Harold Wagel/USFWS

Spoonbills show off

A pair of roseate spoonbills show off their brilliant plumage in this photo taken by Harold Wagle, a finalist for the National Wildlife Refuge System's 2012 photo contest, at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.

The National Wildlife Refuge System, which covers more than 150 million acres of protected land across the country, will celebrate its 110th birthday on March 14.

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Surrealist orchid exhibit at Atlanta Botanical Garden

Photo: Catie Leary/MNN

Orchid Daze are upon us

Visitors marvel at the Atlanta Botanical Garden's annual Orchid Daze exhibit, which has taken on a surrealist theme this year, on Feb. 24 in Atlanta, Ga.

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Water droplets on crocuses at Kew Gardens

Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Blooming crocuses

Raindrops hang on to purple crocuses, a flowering plant belonging to the iris family, on March 1 at Kew Gardens in the Kew district of London, England.

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Wildflowers at Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Photo: Carl Evans/ USFWS

Wichita's wildflowers

A field of coreopsis tinctoria wildflowers soak up the sun at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in southwest Oklahoma.

In addition to these cheerful yellow blooms, floral enthusiasts can also expect to see Indian blanket flowers, wild blue indigo and blooms from prickly pear and barrel cacti.

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Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.

Spoonbills and crocuses jump the gun on spring [Photos]
Although the first official day of spring is March 20, several species of flora and fauna are already flaunting their cheerful colors.