Springtime can be missed in a blink, however those with open eyes won’t miss the orchestra of colors that carpet California hillsides, meadows and landscapes with wildflowers. With thousands of varieties and numerous habitats, climates and terrain, the blooms are as varied and unique as California itself.
With most of the state experiencing an unusually wet winter, these “uncultivated flowering plants” should be bountiful in coming months. Early spring (February–April) is the opportune time to view desert blooms. Red Rock Canyon State Park is a juxtaposition of rock formations with vivid blossoms amidst beaver tail cactus and white blooming Joshua trees and yuccas. Early spring trekkers will be treated to desert candles, lilies and asters, wooly sunflowers and Indian paintbrush. The Coachella Valley Nature Preserve, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Death Valley National Park also showcase their share of seasonal color and are already flourishing.
Wildflowers generally peak March through early June, however an abundant snow pack will extend the Sierra Nevada wildflower season into the summer months. San Mateo’s Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve in the San Francisco Bay Area flourishes with blue larkspurs and lupines, pink shooting stars, white fairy lanterns and red paintbrush. Marin’s Chimney Rock at Point Reyes National Seashore showcases yellow goldfields, blue irises, poppies and Point Reyes chocolate lilies. Other popular locations in the Bay Area include the Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve near Novato and Napa’s Missimer Snell Valley Wildflower Preserve, where onlookers can appreciate the vibrant hues from the road. To be immersed true California color, the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve near Lancaster in Los Angeles County consists of seven miles of trails through 1,745 acres of golden petals.
For late spring through summer viewing, head to higher elevations. Fish Slough and Lake Sabrina in Bishop are popular viewing areas in the Eastern Sierra. North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve in Butte County transforms into an endless sea of color and is one of the region’s premier viewing areas. The paths that lead you there (Highway 70, Cherokee Road), are equally spectacular.
Discover more great wildflower adventures at California State Parks
and Jepson Prairie Preserve in Solano County.
If my Subaru can't get me there,
that's a good reason not to go!I
Today is her birthday.
Routine kitchen cleaning is interrupted
By the startling realization
you are gone;
As if it were somehow forgotten.
Struggling with an impossible reality
And recalling the months, the day, the time. The Moment.
Today is your birthday.
I think about what
we would be doing.
Happy Birthday Mom!
Barbara L. Steinberg
March 7, 1993
There is so much more to discover along Stockton Boulevard. My journey continues with new friends and stories. The community is growing and evolving. I'm excited to be there as it unfolds.
Along the Boulevard: New Beginnings
Life along Stockton Boulevard is changing. Neighborhoods and business communities are getting a fresh start and making steady advances all the way from Little Saigon to the UC Davis Medical Center campus. Present-day and future improvements are changing the way we live, grow and play. Revitalization is here.
Still very much in the planning stages and many years away, Aggie Square is fueling a Renaissance along Stockton Boulevard. On the campus of UC Davis Health in Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood, the site identified as the future location of Aggie Square is near 2nd Avenue and Stockton Boulevard. A partnership between UC Davis, the City of Sacramento and the business community, Aggie Square will be a live, learn, work, and play innovation eco-system to help UC Davis take its research from the lab to the marketplace. It will help educate and employ students and grow economic development for the community.
Smart & Final Extra! – 5100 Stockton Boulevard
“When identifying where to open new stores, we look at several factors including community need,” says Rich Tovatt, Smart & Final Regional Vice President. “We were especially drawn to this Stockton Boulevard location given the fact we have operated a store in this community since 1988, but at approximately 15,000 square feet, we had outgrown the space. We have also heard from this community that the area is currently underserved for household and business customers, so we are very excited to open and serve this community better than ever before.”
Smart & Final Extra! opened in December 2018 and is approximately 32,000 square feet. With expanded frozen, deli and meat selections, a full fresh produce section with organic options, and grocery and household products offered in a broad range of sizes, Smart & Final’s Extra! format stores provide an additional 6,000 club size items as compared to traditional Smart & Final stores. The store also features:
“Smart & Final is also uniquely connected to the communities it serves. The Smart & Final Charitable Foundation helps support the organizations in our communities that make a difference through grants, and is also instrumental in helping those in need following natural disasters.”
Express Graphic – 4905 Stockton Boulevard
Vacant and rundown for many years, this retail corner has a new owner and purpose. The post office-approved store provides shipping cost comparisons for GSO, DHL, FedEx and USPS. “You’ll get the best rate based on destination, weight and time frame for delivery,” says owner Chinh Nguyen.
This is a one-stop shop for printing, copying, fax, scanning, signage and shipping. Printing costs are competitive and can include same-day delivery. The website provides customizable options to help small businesses design 12-month marketing campaigns. Relocating from Fruitridge Shopping Center in late 2018, Chinh completely renovated the storefront which includes one of the Boulevard’s “emerging murals”.
Biru Water Store – 5880 Stockton Boulevard
Founded in Surabaya, Indonesia in 2002, Biru (Indonesian for blue) opened their first American store on Stockton Boulevard in 2018 completely renovating a three-unit strip mall. Dispensing both alkaline and reverse osmosis waters, the store is state-of-the-art.
“This location has high-visibility,” said project manager, Amy Wongso. “Good traffic and nearby Asian and Latino communities–our target market—made this a good investment.”
With more than 300 stores, Biru has grown to be the leading refill water company in Indonesia and has received multiple awards such as WORLDCOB’s “The Bizz 2017” Business Award and Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award 2013. “We focus on what we do best, Water is the business!”
Cajun Madness – 6035 Stockton Boulevard - Opening Soon
At this California meets Louisiana restaurant, guests will enjoy fresh seafood in a family-friendly atmosphere. Crawfish, lobster rolls, Dungeness crab and, yes, hush puppies! Wait until you see the mural-bejeweled entry, dining room and VIP room-- Sacramento and New Orleans icons and glow-in-the-dark sea creatures. Come for the food. Stay for the art.
SOCO Studio/SoundOff Collab - 3711 Stockton Boulevard
In 2016, Maria Cantrell started a pop-up called SoundOff Collaborations. “I wanted a physical location, but couldn’t find the right place. I started exploring Stockton Boulevard and found this site – a good spot for an independent music, art and co-working space.”
SOCO Studio has two components: recording and visuals comprised of photography and videography. There are currently two recording work stations. In spring 2019, an engineered recording area where you can do full recording, mixing and mastering will be available. SOCO Studio is Sacramento’s only woman-owned recording studio.
The Greens on Stockton Boulevard – 4331 Stockton Boulevard - Opening Soon
“A hip and retro-style hotel, we’re not doing anything crazy,” says new owner Dhruv Shah. “We’re thinking futuristically – all the way to 2021. A modern look that will last.”
The 44-unit boutique-style hotel will focus on what most travelers need and want: clean rooms, comfortable beds, in-room refrigerators, WiFi and modern touches throughout. There will be a coffee bar in the lobby 24/7 and an on-sight manager. Reservations must be made online and payment is by credit card only. The Greens on Stockton Boulevard will not have food service.
Johnson’s Greenbriar Motel reincarnated, the u-shaped motor lodge was built in the early 1950s along the historic Highway 99 corridor near what were considered some of the finest wine vineyards in Northern California. The 240-acre property was owned by Peter Roemer, a native of Germany who came to California in 1881.
Grounded – 3816 Stockton Boulevard
HT’s Spot BBQ specializing in chicken and waffles once lived at this location. Purchased and renovated by Grounded partners, Micah Baginski and Sam Allen, the now sunlit HT’s was split into spacious 800- and 3,000- square-foot commercial storefronts. Fadem Up Barbershop (3824 Stockton Boulevard) will relocate to the smaller space in 2019. The search is on for another tenant to occupy the larger unit. Stay tuned!
Rest of the Story:
Wildflower season is coming, and Solano Land Trust’s Jepson Prairie docents are getting ready to share the first wave of vernal pool flowers. Weather permitting, there will be two-hour guided walks starting in the spring.
A vernal pool is a world of exceptional diversity and an ecological system of great complexity, and Jepson Prairie Preserve is one of the best remaining examples of vernal pools in all of California. Enjoy an easy, meandering walk under wide-open skies with knowledgeable docents while exploring the bunchgrass prairie and walking alongside the claypan vernal pools. The prairie is transformed by winter rains into fields of stunning wildflowers including white meadowfoam, yellow carpet, and miniature lupine. Docents will also introduce you to the rare aquatic animals, all on the Endangered Species list, that live in the ephemeral pools, including vernal pool fairy shrimp, Conservancy fairy shrimp, and the larvae of the California tiger salamander.
Jepson Prairie Preserve, a designated National Natural Landmark, is located on Cook Lane, off Highway 113, about ten miles south of Dixon and eight miles north of Highway 12. Stay tuned for details about dates, times, location, price, and contact information. Participants should bring a backpack with plenty of water, and snacks or a picnic lunch. They should wear boots or sturdy closed-toe shoes, layered clothes, and protection from the elements. It is often windy at Jepson Prairie, and they should be prepared for wet trails and the chance of fog. Rain may cancel. Visitors should bring drinking water and may also want to bring a hand lens, binoculars and a camera. For directions and additional details, visit solanolandtrust.org.
Since its founding in 1986, Solano Land Trust has permanently protected more than 20,000 acres of working farms and natural areas in Solano County. Learn more, see a full list of outdoor adventures, and become a member at www.SolanoLandTrust.org.
What: Docent-led tours of the Jepson Prairie Preserve
Who: Solano Land Trust & Jepson Prairie Docents
When: Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to noon - dates and days to be determined.
Where: Jepson Prairie Preserve, Intersection of Highway 113 and Cook Lane, 13 miles south of Dixon. Go straight at flashing light onto Cook Lane, gravel road.
Why: See the wondrous wildflowers and amazing aquatic invertebrates of Jepson Prairie.