In recapping some of my adventures, I end up a bit closer to my own back yard. The Fransisco Bay area has some of the best places to visit. One recent weekend my wife and took a drive and visited one of the East Bay Rec district park, Coyote Hills.
The park/preserve is right up along the edge of the bay, and has a small seasonal marsh, as well as some chaparral type hills. The three hour hike is lovely and really more like a walk. The trails are not completely flat, but are not excessively aggressive either. Make sure to carry lots of water even, if the day is cool. Always carry a wrap of some type as the wind can also be very cool and as you walk around the to the water side of the hills, you'll find you may need a jacket or sweatshirt.
The photographic opportunities are varible by the season, and as in most cases you'll have to slow down and find the opportunities to get some interesting shots. The hills are often frequented by hawks and vultures which might fly low enough to get an interesting shot. There was also lots of waterfowl and birds, are well as lizards and other animals in abundance. We saw Coyote Scat, by didn't encounter any.
Make sure to carry a close up or macro lens with you. Take the time to explore all the stands of flowering weeds. We saw an abundance of these:
They are generally very hard to get to sit still for more than a minute and are not very approachable.
And Back to the subject. Everyone wonders what I spend some much time looking at when I go for these walks? this time was well spent with a close-up filter. I caught this small wasp on this anise blossom.
No no matter where you go,
take your camera and take your time.
Slower is better.