A few weeks ago I went hiking in Mount Diablo state park, which is less than an hour’s drive from Berkeley. The area includes mixed oak woodland and chaparral. The summit of Mount Diablo, which I didn’t reach on this particular hike, is at an elevation of 3,849 feet. During the summer, the area becomes incredibly hot and almost unbearable, so decided to enjoy a hike in the wintertime. It was so wonderfully cool in the shade that there was actually frost on the ground for most of the trail. I also wanted to get in some camera practice, of course.
One tip that I can already give regarding the photography of insects- start shooting photos a good distance away, especially with those insects prone to flight. Better to have at least one photo with the insect in part of the frame than no picture at all.
An interesting note regarding Mount Diablo (found via Wikipedia) – the peak’s name comes from the escape of several Chupcan Native Americans in 1805 from the Spanish into a nearby willow thicket. The escapees seemingly disappeared and thus the Spanish soldiers called the area “Monte del Diablo”, which means “thicket of the devil”. English speakers later misinterpreted “Monte” to mean mount or mountain.