This morning I drove out to Hal Scott Preserve. We saw all the usual suspects: Northern Bobwhite, Eastern Meadowlark, Eastern TowIhee, Bachman's Sparrows, Eastern Bluebirds, and Pine Warblers. But wildlife other than birds captured my attention more. I'm really thankful that the first one did, too. I was looking for a way to cross some standing water in the path without getting wet, and I saw a flash of white--the threat display of a Florida Cottonmouth. I've never seen one in the wild before, but one more step and I may have had a bad experience. Cottonmouths are not aggressive snakes, but I don't want to tempt one either. I also found a large crayfish (compared to the ones I used to find in VA) on the path. It was out of the water perhaps about 50 yards from the nearby pond. I've never seen a crayfish out of the water before, and this one was clearly alive and well. I found out that they can live outside of water for a while if their gills are wet.
I also found a beautiful dragonfly. I'm very new at identifying them, but I'm going to go out on a limb and guessing that it's a Band-winged Dragonlet. I wish I could have walked a little closer, but there was a Cottonmouth in my way.