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Eyes glued to smartphones.

So many people are mentally buried in their smartphones. They are missing connections with people, and seeing beauty and wonder in the great outdoors.

Last Spring walking along the riverfront trail, I felt thrilled when a bald eagle with a six-foot wingspan flew right overhead, swooping down to the Columbia River beside the trail. I could feel the whoosh of air from its wings.

Splash! Without pausing, the eagle snatched a fish from the river and soared upwards with the fish in its talons. WOW.

"Did you SEE that eagle?" I called excitedly to people around me. No. They were all looking down at their smartphones. Nobody else saw it. What a shame.

Watching that eagle was a peak, ecstatic moment in my life. I'll never forget it.

We all need more low-level ecstasy in our lives. This is a call to open your eyes, to see and feel the wonder and joy in life.

LiterateHiker 9 Jan 12

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I took my youngest son fishing at Flaming Gorge Utah back in 2011 and 2012. The first day there in 2011 he caught the first Trout( we were doing catch and release)...we unhooked his beautiful Rainbow and tossed him back in...WHOOSH...down swoops a HUGE WHITE OSPREY and snatched up the trout...he/she apparently had a Nest with youngins to feed on top of the Bridge above us that leads to the just don't see THAT everyday staring at a smartphone.


What a great story! Beautifully described. Thank you.

@LiterateHiker well thank you...coming from you ... I consider that high praise...your stories tickle so many good memories...great photos by the usual 😂


I've been witness to eagles fetching dinner. very cool. gotta look up once in a while.


Here is a beautiful spot near enough for long hike or quad but no car access. No phone needed except for the pictures.


I refuse to hike where motorized vehicles are allowed. Loud dirt bikes and quads badly erode the landscape, scare away wildlife and shatter the serenity of everyone in earshot.

Glad motorized vehicles are increasingly banned on hiking trails and beaches.

@LiterateHiker I totally understand your take. There is a appropriate place for everything and honestly there are plenty of trails designated for ATVs. I'm looking forward to battery operated quads to keep the noise down. As with anything the knuckle draggers amongst us ruin it for the people looking to just enjoy nature and outdoors.

I also find it disturbing how much trash people leave behind. Clean up is another benefit of riding.


Stunning photos! How true that so many people are buried in their smartphones, living in a virtual world that lacks true colour, natural scents, taste and touch. Even without their smartphones many people would still not see or enjoy the natural world because they are lost in their imagination and internal dramas. For many people if it does not appear on social media it didn't happen or is not real, sad.

It seems that conversation is being relegated to the annals of history.


Thank you. As a volunteer college mentor, I rush to the high school before the final bell rings. If a minute late...

Hundreds of teenagers pour out of the building looking down at their smartphones and texting. It's like paddling upstream.

"LOOK UP!" I say sharply before a student mows me down. Startled, they glance up and veer to the side. Then right back to texting.

@LiterateHiker On my way to work one morning on my motorcycle a young woman stepped out from between two large parked trucks directly into my path. I managed to stop less than two feet from her. Startled and looking shocked, she apologised. I asked if her if reading text messages was more important than her life.


I'd come back with my gear for that trout. Before the damn eagle gets him. 😉


Merritt Lake is a very hard hike gaining 4,000 feet of elevation in four miles. Couldn't understand why I felt so tired. The next day I was diagnosed with pneumonia.

"Let's eat lunch here," I said, collapsing beside the lake. "I don't want to climb the ridge." Two other women with us climbed a steep ridge.

For once I was so inert, fish swam close to my feet.

@LiterateHiker I hope the pneumonia is gone now. Take care of yourself, hon.

@LiterateHiker Hope you recover soon.

@zeuser, @xenoview

I hiked to Merritt Lake in June. After taking antibiotics, I fully recovered.

Afterward, I updated my pneumonia vaccine.


Beautiful pictures! You managed to capture wonderful images with your smartphone, or do you use a camera?


The photos were taken with my Sony Cybershot digital camera. It takes great landscapes but is hit-and-miss with closeups.

While hiking, I refused to carry my smartphone until 2020. The phone takes great closeups of wildflowers. Here's the first closeup I took with my smartphone.


Beautiful shots

bobwjr Level 10 Jan 12, 2022


Thank you, Bob! While hiking, many people zoom past amazing beauty without a glance.

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