• Rainbow over Half Dome

    Yosemite

    National Park California

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  • Road Closures Due to El Portal Fire

    The Big Oak Flat Road between Crane Flat and the El Portal Road is temporarily closed. There is no access to Yosemite Valley via the Big Oak Flat Road or Highway 120. Tioga Road is open and accessible via Big Oak Flat and Tioga Pass Entrances. More »

  • Campground Closures Due to Fire

    Crane Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds are temporarily closed. More »

  • Yosemite National Park is Open

    Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, and Wawona/Mariposa Grove areas are open and accessible via Highways 140 and 41. Tioga Road is not accessible via Highways 140 and 41 due to a fire.

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.