Photographer Mark Hirsch had previously taken a few photos of a large, intricate tree and posted them on Facebook.  A friend wrote, “Dude.  What is it with you and that tree?” and challenged Hirsch to take a photo a day of it for the next year.  Thus the “That Tree” project was born.  Saturday was Day #365.

Over the weekend, I was one of about 300 people who slogged through the mud and snow to stand in the cold for a hour in middle of a cornfield in rural Wisconsin.  The occasion was the final photograph and the public was invited to join in.  It looked like the last scene in the Field of Dreams movie with cars lined along the road as far as you could see.

One of the things that struck me most about this project is that Hirsch took all the photos, including the one on Saturday, with nothing but his iPhone 4S.  Many of the people at the final shot had the same phone, but they didn’t have Mark’s eye — or his stick-to-it-iveness.

For many, a similar project could engender many excuses.  “I don’t have the right equipment.”  “I can’t do something every single day.”  “It’s raining.”  “It’s snowing.”  “The fields are full of mud.”  (trust me, they are!)  There are as many excuses as there are days.

But he stuck with it, and soon will have a book that chronicles his project.  He has also been featured on NBC News, The Sierra Club and the (UK) Daily Mail.  Not bad for a Facebook dare!

It is another example of how little things add up to something significant.  When he took the first photo, he had nothing more in mind.  Now, he not only has a book, but a sense of accomplishment for having completed what he set out to do — without excuses.

How can you start something big today — just by doing something little?

— beth triplett

Article with quote in Telegraph Herald 3-14-13 by Megan Gloss
See photos at

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