Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunrise, Trinity River East Fork Wetlands, Kaufman County

"Sunrise, Trinity River East Fork Wetlands, Kaufman County"
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Canvas
8" x 10"
Click to here to bid on this painting.
Growing up in Southeast Texas near the Gulf Coast, marsh wetlands were a common site.  The look of the reeds and aquatic plants reflected off the shallow water was something I missed when I moved to Dallas in 1998.  Now there’s a wetland habitat close to my home in Seagoville that’s helping provide clean water for North Texas, and a wealth of painting inspiration for yours truly.
The North Texas Municipal Water District began construction on the East Fork Raw Water Supply Project in 2004.  Water is pumped from the Trinity River’s East Fork near Crandall through 1,840 acres of manmade wetlands.  The wetlands are located on private ranchland owned by the Caroline Hunt family estate.  The water constantly moves through aquatic plants to remove sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus from the water.  The cleansed water is then pumped 40 miles north to the NTMWD reservoir at Lavon Lake.  
It’s a brilliant idea, using plants, not machinery, to help meet the pressing need for water in North Texas.  It’s the largest reclaimed water project in Texas, and has the look and feel of a nature preserve.  There are more than twenty types of aquatic plants and a wonderful diversity of wildlife.  It’s a bird watchers dream come true.  In 2010 the John Bunker Sands Wetland center opened on site providing tours and exhibits of the wetlands.
This daily painting is a view of the wetlands at sunrise from Hwy 175.  Since moving to Seagoville in 2000 I have often painted the small creek running along the embankment beside the Trinity River.  Now that the wetlands have grown into a lush marsh I find myself more and more inspired by the view.  I love to watch the sunrise and set over the water.  Seeing the sky reflected in the shallow canals seems to erase the separation of Heaven and Earth. 
The wetlands are just a short drive from Dallas and make a wonderful family outing or a great educational field trip for a school.  You can find out more about the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center and schedule a visit here.

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