Author: Amber D. Stoner

Amber D. Stoner is a writer and book artist living in Eden Prairie. As a child, she wrote in a tree by the Mississippi River. As an adult, writing outside and about nature continues to deepen her connection to people, places, plants and all sorts of critters.

Acres of cattails glow golden in the steep slant of the November sun. Standing on the boardwalk at Cardinal Creek Conservation Area, I reach up to touch the velvety brown flower of the cattail. This time of year, the flowers are frizzing out from their tightly packed brown cylinders into the fuzzy fluff that inspired their name. I tug at the shedding seeds, and the fluff expands and expands, cottony foam releasing sails of seeds. Cattails, a marsh plant, thrive along the edges of lakes and rivers and across wetlands providing food and shelter to muskrats, deer, ducks and more.…

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On a crisp autumn evening in my backyard, I hear a gray treefrog’s slow musical trill. A reply sounds from the planter on our deck. The air is cool, dry, and leafy. I often see treefrogs when they are green and nestled on a hosta leaf. Still, they adapt to their surroundings and turn a mottled gray when I spy them snugged along a wall of our cedar planters or tucked into the spout of our watering pitcher. At night, they climb up our deck doors with their white bellies and large toepads smooshed against the glass. The croaks echo…

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