Book Bits: ‘That Tree’ by Mark Hirsch
This wonderful book came out several years ago, but I was reminded of it when the June/July 2015 issue of the Nature Conservancy magazine mentioned it.
Mark Hirsch had undergone financial and emotional hardship. He happened to stop by a 160-year-old Bur Oak he’d driven by daily for almost two decades. He’s not sure why he stopped to look more closely.
As the magazine article describes it, “”Every day for the next year, Hirsch photographed the tree. In the images, fireflies streak past the lens, snow flakes lie on the tree’s lichen, and birds’ nests rest on the tree’s branches. By capturing little details, Hirsh created an in-depth look at the daily world of a single tree.”
We probably miss details like this in our own yards and streets, even in our favorite parks. Surely there must be great value in looking, listening, taking the time to see them, and further discover the natural world that’s at once close and so far away.
Hirsch told CBS news, “That tree gave me healing and inspiration that I needed more than I had realized. And it taught me to slow down, take time to look around, and appreciate the almost (but not quite) hidden beauty that abounds in our world — sometimes even in your own backyard.”
There are lessons and inspirations here in the process and in the book that resulted. Those of us with iPhones and digital cameras might pick single trees, forests, fields and stand in the same place day after day and just look while snapping a picture to record the moment.
You can learn more about Hirsch and his project at his That Tree website in addition to finding the book on Amazon and other online book sellers.