They say that “hope springs eternal”- this Spring I have a lot of Hope for one of my latest ventures into all things native. At the bend we have a small creek which borders the East and North sides of our property in St Louis County. The creek makes a big sweeping bend to form the property edge. Last spring we had two pairs of Mallards up and down the creek looking for a spot to call home for the summer. Unfortunately, last year we were not prepared for the Mallards – but this year- with a little hope – we have built and placed a Mallard nesting structure along the creek bank. The plan came from the Delta Waterfowl website, that group is all about actively creating nesting sites for all ducks- Mallards included of course. The creek has experienced a stabilization project in the last five years. Our local municipality cut back and stabilized the opposite bank of the creek with almost all natives species of trees and wildflowers. Last summer as the colors folded from one to another, yellow to white, white to orange, orange to blue and blue back to yellow, we enjoyed counting bird species taking advantage of our robust little riparian corridor. We even saw an Indigo Bunting. This spring already we have counted five pairs of Northern Cardinals along the bend. Last year we counted five different species of wood peckers- it was an awesome year. So this year, with a little hope, we are hoping to add Mallards to our permanent resident list – next year I think I will add a Wood Duck box – after all, “Hope Springs Eternal!”When the World wearies, and Society ceases to satisfy- there is always the Garden.