Sunday, March 20, 2011

Back in Santa Fe

by Wolf Schneider

They call Montana “Big Sky Country” and Wyoming “The Big Empty,” but Santa Fe’s huge cornflower-blue sky and wide-open spaces were what struck me the other morning. Travel makes us see things with a fresh view. Just back in Santa Fe from a trip east, on my walk I hightailed it along in sweats with no jacket. I tuned in to the many birdcalls—cheerful high tweets from the smaller birds and low caws from crows--and the calming color palette of creamy adobe homes silhouetted against blue skies. Santa Fe is Southwest Spartan compared with the varied oaks, draping Spanish moss, and wildflowers I was walking among on my trip, but it seems like we can breathe deeper in the quiet tranquility here. We can find our own individuality easier in the peace.

A house off Acequia Madre InWinter

In March it still looks like winter without much blooming in Santa Fe. Our landscape is all browns, greens, and blues. But it feels like spring is sneaking in. March and April are the two most pervasive juniper allergy months; it helps to take Allertonic from Herbs Etc. ( Soon the rare bunches of forsythias and crocuses will emerge. Having fewer blossoms in our surroundings makes us value them even more. Our ever-shifting crystalline light works wonders on a landscape turned barer and more architectural at this time of year. The other night at sunset the sky was swirling with grape and orange as I drove through town, wondering where my future was going to be.

Santa Fe-based Wolf Schneider has been editor in chief of the Santa Fean, editor of Living West, and consulting editor of Southwest Art. She also blogs at

Photographer: David Alfaya, Taken in Artist Studio: Gregory Lomayesva

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