At the Mariposa Grove, a tourist pointed out something I had never seen in Yosemite National Park — a pileated woodpecker. Bee photographer Craig Kohlruss snapped a picture of it.
We were in Yosemite to research a story about the Mariposa Grove, where about 500 mature giant sequoias live. The graceful scenes were everywhere, but the pileated woodpecker stole the show.
This is a big, eye-catching bird. It looked like the size of a crow — black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest.
The bird was pounding at the base of a white fir tree, making little pieces of wood fly. A few people stopped and took photos, but nothing distracted this woodpecker. Someone told me it was hunting for carpenter ants. I couldn’t really see what it was doing.
It has been a while since I had visited the Mariposa Grove, which is near the South Entrance and Highway 41. I’ll have to get back there again soon.