It's easy to forget that there are amazing things to photograph right near home when you travel as much as I do. Sometimes it seems as if all of my time between trips is taken up sorting and cataloging images from the last trip and then packing for the next.
So today I went out exploring in my own back yard and I found a wonderful place to poke around. A 15 minute drive (plus or minus 5 minutes for the tunnel stop light) out of San Francisco is the Marin Headlands. The area has beautiful rolling hills, bobcats, deer, bunnies and coyotes, a gorgeous beach with sea stacks off the coast, wildflowers and a lagoon... as the Nature and Wildlife photographer that I pride myself in being... I photographed Battery Mendel.
The headlands area is littered with old military sites including a restored Nike missile base. The particular battery that I visited today was completed in 1905 and was in active service until 1943. Wandering the ruins and looking at the rust you could almost feel the history of this area. I tried to imagine what it would have been like to have been stationed in such a beautiful location. I climbed the stairs to the top to take full advantage of the view and was hit by a blast of cold ocean air. I decided that being stationed in such a beautiful location most likely had it's downside as well. Adding the fog to that cold blast would have chilled me to the bone.
I'll be going back since there is so much more to explore but next time I'll bring a heavier coat!