Melany Sarafis

Melany Luna Sarafis

Not necessarily my BEST nor most popular image of 2015, but the most special memory without a doubt! This was shot during my Artist in Residency tenure in the Petrified Forest National Park. After the park closed at sunset and all guests were “escorted” out, I had access to the entire park. This is the “Blue Forest” area, accessed from the teepees and ending up on the Blue Mesa. A trecherous hike in the dark, but worth it!

Following an old CCC trail up into the Tepees I found this amazing location. In the morning light, this mesa looked like neopolitan ice cream. The geology and pre-history of this place amazes me! I crossed 4 million years of geological time to get to this area that represents an old river channel from more than 223 million years ago. “Early” dinosaur bones are scattered throughout these grounds.As I sat up on this sandstone watching the stars with my hubby, we experience a magical night – where the memories are more important than the pictures. I can’t describe the quiet, stillness I felt sitting there in as the moonlight illuminated the white landscape and was absorbed by the blacks in the valleys. As the sun sat, the bats came out and swooped right in front of my face; the only movement from wildlife I witnessed. No bugs, coyotes, mosquitoes, or anything else. As if we were alone in the ancient world, yet I felt so small under the big sky.

Just the memory of this night was the best part of my residency. I hope to return again and hang out in the old riverbed again.

See more of Melany’s work by visiting her website.