The Free Lance-Star Photography Department shares the stories behind the photos.
A snowy egret lifts off from Ruffins Pond in Spotsylvaia County after sharing the waters with a flock of Canada geese on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012. Egrets typically arrive in the region in mid-spring, according to the Chesapeake Bay Project’s website. In fall the birds migrate to the Carolinas and points southward. (Peter Cihelka/The Free Lance-Star)