(All photos are part of this set at my Flickr account.)

This is my first opportunity to use the 4000-cubic-inch Kelty backpack they gave me for my birthday. We are always curious about how much our packs weigh, so we weigh them before leaving the house. Charles’s, as usual, comes in heaviest (25% of his body weight), then Derek’s (22%), Titus’s (20%), mine (17%), and Byron’s (13%).


After a two-hour drive we begin at the Venable Trailhead, 9000 feet elevation. By tomorrow we will gain 3000 feet more. The last time we went backpacking at “the Sangres,” it was September, and the wildflowers were already dead. This time, they are at their peak. I wonder at the plants and animals in this wilderness. All creation really does sing His praise.

Of course I know the Columbine, our state flower . . .



. . . and the Aspen, which every Coloradan knows . . .

aspen leaf 7/2011


. . . but, ignorant of birds, bugs and botany, I don’t know what anything else is called up here. I can’t identify them, so these are anonymous beauties. What are the bushes we bushwhack through? What kind of bird makes that two-tone call? Whose are those faces greeting us from the trailside (“Welcome! Welcome to the mountains!”) Are those moth caterpillars that keep greeting us from midair?


tree and succulent-looking ground cover

white flower with bug













yellow flower with bugs


What is the name of those little trumpets heralding in unison, “The Lord is good! The Lord is good!”




I don’t know their names. I only know them by where they are; these wildflowers, this ground cover, those birds are the wonders I always see at “the Sangres”—the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.





I, too, want to be known by la sangre de Cristo—the blood of Christ. I want the world to identify me by what Jesus has done for me on the cross. I want to be an anonymous beauty, made beautiful by wearing Christ’s righteousness.

If Jesus is known by His scars,
may I be known by His blood, known
by la sangre de Cristo.

Father, I ask again, may it be no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

“He must increase; I must decrease.”
(John 3:30)

(For the Summer Vacation writing project hosted by Charity Singleton. Visit Charity’s place for more community posts!)


8 thoughts on “Anonymous

  1. Gorgeous! My husband, son, and I hiked the the Sangres two summers ago. Beautiful, beautiful country. And the flowers–Columbine, of course, and the Lupine were in full bloom.

    Thanks for the memories! You’ll have to try the Alps with your Kelty next!

  2. It’s hard to be an anonymous beauty, miss M. You shine even when you don’t mean to. But really, it’s Him. So you are doing it right. I’ve got a long way to go.

    Some of those flowers are wild roses, queen ann’s lace, and the spiky purple-blue one is just wowzer. ;-)

    Take me with you… We don’t camp much because we live in the middle of the wild woods. But mountain lakes have a spot in my heart from a weeklong sea kayaking trip back in college. Rinse that salt grime off in a mtn lake.


  3. What magnificent shots! I am amazed by the beauty nature offers. How insignificant human beings are in front of God’s powers and creations!

  4. Monica – Yes, known only by the blood of Christ. These pictures are beautiful. Are God is so creative. Thanks for linking up with the writing project – and sorry it took me a few days to get over here! I appreciate you!

  5. So beautiful, Monica! I feel like you. I don’t know the names of all the beautiful things out there, but I do feel the presence of God when I’m out there in it. So glorious! Thanks for linking up!

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