Yesterday morning, we decided to take the trail at Lake Hancock again, even though it was a cloudy grey day and there were other things we could have been doing.

It was a work-day for some and between that and the greyness of the day, there were very few people on the trails when we got there. In fact, there were many times when we were completely alone for up to a half hour at a time and others when the only companions on the trail were feathered or furry creatures.

To say we had a blast, would be an understatement. It was truly a wonderful experience start to finish and when we weren’t being treated to the antics of creatures and such, we found ourselves just breathing in the air and savoring the gorgeous temperature of a long walk.

We watched as fish and spiders became breakfast for creatures higher up the food chain, witnessed the tiniest baby alligator ever (was less than six inches) swimming beside his mom, watched as a great blue heron stalked and then plucked two fish out from the water nearby, and we even had a close-encounter with a raccoon that went by us just a couple of feet away and proceeded down the trail as though he were out walking off his own Christmas dinner.

I have placed a number of the images at the end of the blog and hope you enjoy.

Yesterday was one of those days when the experience being felt was far greater than the images being captured and it isn’t always that way. Sometimes, you get amazing shots that mask a very quiet trail.

But yesterday was so full of the other senses, that image-capturing was very much a secondary aspect of the outing.

And it is that which gave me the thought for today’s blog.

You see, we can often become observers rather than experiencers in life and this is truly a shame. There is a real temptation to do that, when you are a camera guy like me, but I am talking about more than just that.

There are generations now of people that are being entertained (TV, internet, movies) that distract them away from their own experiences in life and replace their life with the life of others. I watched that old movie “Scrooged” the other night, where Bill Murray was describing things from his youth to one of the ghosts and at each turn she pointed out that his description was of something he had seen on TV. It wasn’t his life at all.

The arrival of virtual reality is taking that distancing from experience and widening the gap even further. I can’t imagine what a society of us all living our lives virtually is going to look like. I shudder at the thought.

Forget about the fact that we all become fatter and think less. Forget about the fact that being fed experiences is very different from tasting them.

Just ask yourself what life you want; one that is full of your own experiences or the experiences of others.

Walking trails is a very honest experience. In my opinion, there are very few like it. But even if you can’t do that, savor things that you can actually do. Yes, experiences will not always be good and sometimes will be frustrating and painful. But at the end of the day, these are the things that color between the lines of your life.

Without them, you are merely a black and white cartoon and the memories you take with you at the end, will not be your own.

… just a thought.