Posted on August 15, 2023August 15, 2023 by L. L. CobleBlue Tuesday We’ve got the summertime blues for you, right here at susquehannawildlife.net… In warm-season grass meadows, Big Bluestem is now in flower. This and other species of native prairie grasses provide excellent habitat for birds, mammals, and insects including butterflies. To survive drought and fire, their roots run much deeper than cool season grasses, creeping down four to six feet or more. This adaptation allowed warm season grasses to recover from heavy grazing by large Pre-Anthropocene mammals. Today, it makes them ideal plants for soil stabilization. A male Indigo Bunting has already found ripe seeds among the heads of flowering Big Bluestem. Look closely and you’ll see our Indigo Bunting is beginning a pre-migration molt out of its bright-blue breeding (alternate) plumage and into a gray-brown winter (basic) plumage. The berries of the American Pokeweed upon which it is perched will soon ripen into a dark blue, almost black, color. Though toxic to humans, these fruits find favor with many species of birds and mammals. Another great wildlife food is Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum), a deciduous shrub that sports blue-colored berries in summer and showy, bright-red twigs in winter. It grows well in wet ground along streams and ponds, as well as in rain gardens. A Great Blue Heron searches the shallows for small fish. This species is also a good mouser, at times seen hunting in grassy meadows. Right now is prime time to see it and a variety of other herons and egrets throughout the Lower Susquehanna River Watershed. …so don’t let the summertime blues get you down. Grab a pair of binoculars and/or a camera and go for a stroll!