• Rainbow over Half Dome

    Yosemite

    National Park California

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?

Merced River Gorge

Descending from Yosemite Valley, the Merced River becomes a continuous cascade in a narrow gorge littered by massive boulders. Dropping 2,000 feet in 14 miles, canyon walls rise steeply from the river and have many seasonal waterfalls cascading down to the river.