On the walls of the lodges at Shenandoah National Park are framed photographs of the notorious Blue Ridge Mountains. If captured just right, the misty mountains appear as a blue gradient.
That bluish color is actually hydrocarbons being released by plants into the atmosphere (thanks, Wikipedia). All the plants work together to create the blue haze characteristic of the area. Increasingly, haze is also being produced by pollution, and the visibility is decreasing.
It seems you can't see as far as you used to, but there's still a big sky out there. I stood on our balcony playing with my cell phone as the sun set trying to replicate what other photographers had captured. Zoom in. No, zoom out a little. Tap to focus. Click. Sigh. Repeat.
After a few tries, I almost threw my phone over the balcony. I guess there are some things cell phones just can't capture.
So, I put the phone aside. (Confession: This was after a few gratuitous "I'm on vacation drinking wine!" photos.) We sat on our balcony in silence for a long while, just enjoying the quiet that comes with being in the mountains. And without the constant push notifications calling us to our phones, we were really able to relax.
Those few hours were better than any picture I could have captured.