September 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Santa Fe Gold

"Birds, bees and other creatures are constant visitors to these plants"

By Karen Denison

At Home Outdoors

Karen Denison is owner of Outspire Hiking and Snowshoeing guide service, a former biologist, and a shameless admirer of the outdoors.


The mountain aspen may get all the attention, but it has rivals for that glorious autumn color closer to town.

At an elevation of 7000 feet  (give or take a thousand feet), Santa Fe is filled with the color now of yellow.  All manner of the family Asteraceae or Daisy family have partaken of summer's moisture and been prompted to bloom.  Low-growing annuals and tall perennials alike are bursting forth with gold.  Any photograph or painting of Santa Fe mesas at this time of year include swaths of yellow and sage green with counterpoints of purple or white.


Lemonweed, Cowpen Daisies, the branched native sunflowers and of course, large shrubby Chamisa (or Rabbitbrush) line the roadsides and fields.  Birds, bees and other creatures are constant visitors to these plants as they get ready for winter among this last flush of late summer blooming.