This portrait of a canale is a different way to talk about Santa Fe, New Mexico and some of the mysterious elements of our Southwestern architecture. I found this canale looking at me on the old Santa Fe Trail near our Historic Plaza as if waiting for a portrait. The blue sky added just the right amount of light to capture this elegant creation used to take water from a flat roof.
You see, 'canale' is a Spanish word for a watersprout. In Santa Fe, canales and flat roofs go together both as design elements and the structural necessities of Santa Fe Pueblo architectural style. They are the technology of how all the water moves off a flat roof after a rain or snow storm. If they do not work, the roof leaks. It is that simple. Today, they remain a distinctive feature of Santa Fe style and a frequent topic of conversation when it rains.