• Rainbow over Half Dome

    Yosemite

    National Park California

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  • Big Oak Flat Road is closed; no access to Yosemite via Highway 120 from the west

    The Big Oak Flat Road is temporarily closed west of Crane Flat; there is no access to Yosemite via Hwy 120 from the west (except to Hetch Hetchy). Tioga Road is open and accessible if entering the park via Hwys 41 and 140, and Hwy 120 from the east. More »

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    Crane Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds are temporarily closed. All other campgrounds, including Hodgdon Meadow, are open. More »

Mather Musings: Life and Death in the Mountains

September 15, 2012 Posted by: JF - Mather District Interpretive Ranger

Life and Death in the Mountains
    
As I walked the North Dome trail, I was struck by a subtle movement on the ground. Positioning myself to better view the scenario unfolding before me, I was startled to see an ant at the head of a very dusty bee dragging the bee along. When the ant released its grasp to reposition, I noticed the slightest twitching of the bee. It wasn't dead after all! Of course, it was only tenuously clinging to life. The ant, now re-situated, grasped a different part of the head and continued its wearisome way.

My astonishment grew as a wasp entered the scene. Landing on the bee and clutching its rear, the wasp attempted to fly in the opposite direction making the struggling bee the center of a grisly tug-o-war. A nearby ant began running frantic circles in one direction then the other before finally joining its counterpart at the head resulting in a two-against-one battle. In the end, the Goliath wasp flew off leaving the two, small ants with their still-struggling bounty.

Life often resembles this battle, and one is tugged--limp and tired--in multiple directions. We often forget to do what's best for us and find ourselves "going with the flow." How fortunate to find a renewed sense of purpose on the trail to North Dome.

mather musings




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Did You Know?

Yosemite Museum

When it opened to the public on May 29, 1926, the Yosemite Museum became the first museum building in the national park system, and its educational objectives served as a model for parks nationwide. It still functions much as it was originally intended, and currently exhibits items which mainly reflect the Native occupation of Yosemite Valley and its surroundings. When in the park, you can visit with one of three cultural demonstrators who primarily staff the Museum.