Small hills. In an ongoing project to hike and photograph as many of the hills peaks and summits in the Bay Area as possible, I found myself in China Camp State Park hiking three tiny hillocks near the shoreline, Turtle Back, Bullet Hill and Chicken Coop Hill.

You’d scarcely notice them driving the loop road next to the expansive wetlands of San Pablo Bay. But stop and hike the short trail a few hundred feet uphill you enter a different world, a few old oaks, huddled in a hilltop copse, with gnarled bark, lichens and rigged boulders.
It’s amazing to find such different ecosystems in such a small region, but then again there are so many surprises once you get out and start exploring….