Last week, I noticed my first flowering non-woody plants of the year. They'd no doubt been blooming for days, for when I looked around I noticed hundreds of these tiny beings already producing seed pods. The plant is called Spring Whitlow-mustard (Draba verna), and is so small -- the plant pictured here is 2" tall, with flowers less than 1/4" wide -- that most humans passing by a patch never get to enjoy them. For me, spring wouldn't be spring without them.
A magnified look at the flowers reveals 4 hairy sepals, 4 white petals (deeply divided and thus appearing as 8) and 4 long and 2 short stamens surrounding a single pistil. This flower formula makes this plant a member of the Mustard (Brassicaceae) family which includes many tasty wild edibles like Wild Radish, Garden Yellow-rocket, American Sea-rocket and Garlic-mustard.