Let Nature Inspire You

My husband and I participate in the Ohio Scenic Rivers Program as stream quality monitors. After completing Ohio Division of Watercraft training in how to capture, examine, identify, and categorize river-dwelling macroinvertebrates, we were assigned to a beautiful location on the Olentangy River, one of fourteen Ohio waterways designated as Scenic Rivers. Three times each year we conduct our research and send our results in to scientists who add our data to that of other monitors and use the results to keep tabs on the health of the waterways in the program. We completed our summer visit this morning.

Our assigned location is on private property. We walk down the wooded bank from a large stone house to where the river runs wide and clear. Gravel soil mixed with clam shells crunches under our feet. We wade into the rushing water, take our samples, and spread them out under the shade of a giant sycamore tree. Last year we conducted our third visit on an autumn day when the sky was deep blue, contrasting with the white and black trunk of the sycamore and its green and gold leaves waving gently in the breeze overhead.

I was inspired to create this image from watercolor and ink. I recommend using india ink because it dries waterproof and won’t run if you paint over it with the watercolors. This painting is one of my favorites, because it reminds me of the fun we have while helping to care for our beautiful Ohio wildlife. Is there a favorite place that you would like to photograph, draw, or paint?