Friday, September 14, 2018

A bowl of buzzing bees and My Big Panama Experience (Part 2)

We're almost half-way through September already--can you believe it? It's been a strange month weatherwise. Tons of rain and very cool conditions last weekend have changed to heat and humidity. How has your month been so far? I'm a bit worried about those of you who are near Hurricane Florence and hope you all stay safe.  I loved reading all of your comments on my last post and I hope you're looking forward to my next Panama trip installment later on in this post. If you love hiking and nature like I do, I think you'll enjoy it... But, first and foremost--what have I been stitching?

Well, I'm happy to say, I finally have a bowl full of bee stitching to share with you today. I began stitching these in May and now that summer is coming to an end, it seems like a good time to put the bee stitching to rest until next summer. I've really enjoyed it, though, and am looking forward to adding to my bee bowl next summer (and for many summers to come!).  

My first finish is a freebie from Sub Rosa Design called "The Bee's Reverie" which you can find right here.  I love Eszter's designs and when you visit her site you can check out her other charts, both for sale along with many lovely freebies.  I stitched this on 40 ct. Country Mocha Newcastle (which seems to be my go-to fabric lately!) with DMC threads. I did change a few threads from what was suggested so the colors would look better on my chosen fabric. 

The Bee's Reverie by Subrosa Design

I think this design has such a sweet old-fashioned look to it so I chose my finishing materials with that in mind. A bit of lace, some buttons, and a brown mini-print fabric turned this design into a charming pillow. It is the largest  bee pillow that I've done this summer as you'll see when I share all of them in a minute...

A new finish for my bee bowl

I forgot to take a "before" photo of my next finish--Prairie Schooler bee from Book No. 54 called "Garden Beasties." This stitched up very quickly on 40 ct. country mocha Newcastle. I did change a couple of the colors--used pink DMC 223, gold 729, green 3052, and ecru. Well, I guess I changed all of the colors except for the bee and the stripes in the hive! I thought a black button would look cute as the opening for the hive along with the black pins and ruched ribbon trim on this circular finish. Since I had no black pins, I simply used a permanent black marker to "paint" the pin heads... It worked like magic!

Prairie Schooler Bee from "Garden Beasties" booklet

So, here are the five bee pieces I stitched throughout the summer of 2018. Which is your favorite? I think "H Is For Honeybee" is mine, but I'm very pleased with all of them. The best part? I had all of these patterns in my stash and didn't spend a cent on bee charts.

My quintet of bee finishes for the summer of 2018

I finally got my "bee bowl" set up and on display yesterday and I love it! If you look closely, you'll notice that there are six pillows in the bowl... Well, the one on the far left is a Homespun Elegance piece that I stitched four years ago. If you would like to read about that particular finish, you can click here to find more information about it. My bowl is a long, thin one that I picked up at Kohl's a few years back--I like it because the designs can sit side by side and don't cover each other up like in many other bowl displays. The two framed bee pictures in the back are ones I found online, printed off, and framed. I thought they made a nice backdrop to my bee bowl and I really love having the display on the sideboard near my kitchen table!

A bowl full of buzzing bees now sits in my kitchen

Would you like to see a couple of close-ups?

I tried to coordinate the colors in all of the bee-themed pieces I stitched this summer by using mostly pink, pale green, black and gold

Thank you all for your sweet comments and support on my bee obsession this summer! I quite enjoy "themed stitching" and I'm glad you've come along with my on my journey to "stitch all the bees!"

I wonder how many hours of bee stitching I did this season?

So, on to fall and Christmas stitching... I've been working on a larger Prairie Schooler piece which is almost done so I'll share that with you next time along with my monthly Christmas ornaments for August and September. 

Panama (Part 2): Hikes and Nature... Are any of you hikers? I really love doing at least one hike whenever we visit a new part of the world and in Panama we were lucky enough to hike in four different locations. Well, lucky with three of them, that is! The fourth is an experience I'd rather forget... But, I'll begin by telling you about the three enjoyable hikes and sharing some photos of each with you. These are not all my photos (unless they are marked with "Stitching Dreams,"  they were taken by one of my sons who have much better cameras than the one on my iPhone).

Soberanía National Park... We chose this 55,000 acre park due to the reported "abundance of birdlife." There are supposedly over 500 species of birds there. Um... would you believe we saw exactly one bird. Very disappointing! Were we in the wrong part of the park? Was it too late in the day or the wrong time of the year? Should we have gone with a guide? Were the birds just being camera-shy? We did have a nice hike, saw some other small creatures, and enjoyed it, but it would have been much better with bird sightings.

Into the woods we go

The lone bird we saw on our hike that day

A shy turtle tries to hide under the leaves

The rain held off until around 2 PM, just like my son predicted!  It's the rainy season from mid-April through November in Panama and it rains nearly every afternoon until dinnertime.

The water was a fascinating milky-blue color in the streams and waterfalls in this particular park.

Parque Natural Metropolitano... This 573-acre park is set right in the heart of Panama City! Imagine a rain forest within a city and you have an idea of what this unique park was like.  If you love to sweat while you hike, this is the place for you... It is nearly 90° or above all year round in Panama with high humidity. Me? I hate to sweat and I never sweat as much in my entire life as when we hiked in Panama! But, if you just ignore your wet, frizzy hair, soaked clothing, and dripping face, you'll do just fine :) 

A family of coati scrambles up into a tree. The coati are closely related to the raccoon.

A coati posing for a close-up in this darling photo taken by my youngest son

A tiny frog in detail captured by my youngest son's camera.

I'm not sure if this tree has a fungus or just what those pointy things are!

A fairly large spider waits for his prey

I think the creatures that captivated us the most on our hikes were the armies of leafcutter ants. Look closely below--many of the ants are carrying pieces of leaves that they have carefully cut off and are transporting them to their nests. They can carry 20 times their body weight and were just fascinating to watch as they marched on and on. It is said that, after human beings, these ants have the most complex animal society on Earth and their underground nests can be as wide as 98 feet!

My youngest son shot a brief video of the leafcutter ants at work:

Panama City as seen from the Parque Natural Metropolitano

Ancon Hill lies in an area that was used by the United States for administration of the Panama Canal until 1977. The 654-foot high hill leads to the highest point in Panama City.  It is not really a hiking trail--you just walk up a steep road, but the rewards are some gorgeous views of the city. We were so hoping to see a monkey or a sloth since this was our last day in Panama... A few of us were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a lone monkey perched high up in a tree near the top of the hill. Sadly, I was not one of them... 

The sprawling metropolis of Panama City as seen from the top of Ancon Hill

My daughter-in-law took this family photo of the four of us... We sure missed our middle son!

A view of Casco Viejo (the neighborhood where our Airbnb was located) off in the distance.

The Panama Canal as seen from Ancon Hill

I love this photo of my youngest son admiring the city that he called home for six months. I wonder what he was thinking...

Some of the unusual flowers, mushrooms, and greenery that we saw on our hikes in Panama

Santa Fe / Bermejo Falls... Okay--cue the ominous music! The "hike from hell" is about to get underway... But, first a little background. We wanted to get out of the city and experience more of the countryside of Panama so we decided to take a five hour drive to the mountain village of Santa Fe and spend the night. The tiny hotel we stayed at was charming--only four rooms... and we slept under mosquito netting--which was a first! It had such lovely vistas of the mountains and for those of you who have read my blog for a long time, you know that the mountains are my "happy place." As soon as I gaze out over those peaks and valleys, I feel immediate relaxation (a bit like what happens when I sit down to stitch!). As you can see, it was a misty, cool afternoon when we arrived and we spent our time just relaxing on the porch, playing card games, and lazing in the swaying hammocks.

The misty mountains that greeted us in Santa Fe

I got up early to see the sun rise the following morning. Little did I know that the day would be all downhill from that point!

After looking through the hotel's binder of suggested activities in the area, the staff put us in touch with two local guides to take us on a hike to three waterfalls in the Santa Fe National Park area. We met with the guides ahead of time asking them about the length and difficulty of the trek and they described it as a leisurely 5-hour hike to see the flora and fauna while seeing the waterfalls in the area. We specifically asked them about getting wet as we had not brought water shoes or swimsuits with us and they assured us that "aside from spray from the one waterfall," we would be fine. Well, let me tell you this... don't believe everything your guide tells you!

To get to the starting point of the hike we took a bumpy truck ride up  a mountain and were promptly given hiking sticks. (I learned that I love using a hiking stick--the one good thing to come out of this hike!).  

We should have known we were in trouble when the guide pulled out his machete. It turns out the hiking trail was so dense and overgrown in places that he had to whack a path for us to even walk through!

We hadn't walked very far when the guide told us to move to the edge of the path. A local farmer was herding his poor bony cows up the hill which meant we would soon be walking through their "left-overs" as we walked down the hill and across their grazing field!

We were still in one piece and smiling when we reached the first waterfall. This is me, my husband, and our youngest son--the reason we were in Panama!

After the first waterfall, things deteriorated quickly... the jungle became more wild and thick and the path grew narrower. My oldest son is looking like "Do we really want to do this?!" as the guide waits for us to catch up.

Huge rocks, rushing water, and fallen trees gave the landscape a wild, untamed look. We crossed many of these smaller streams by scooting or crawling across the rocks. They were just too slippery to stand on.

Little did we know that we would be fording rivers (remember, the guides told us we wouldn't be getting wet?!). If you could see the look on my face up close it was one of pure terror (yes, that's me in the middle in the white and gray). It was up to my waist at times and the rocks were so slippery it was like walking on ice. I fell often during the several river crossings we made that day so you can imagine what the hiking was like in soaked hiking shoes, socks, and clothing. Thankfully, I had given my phone to my oldest son to put in a waterproof bag. Unfortunately, I had our Passports in my bag and they got drenched. Luckily, they dried out just fine!

At the base of the third waterfall, the guys took a little dip in the cold water while my daughter-in-law and I attempted to dry out.

After we reached the top of the third waterfall (which was so crazy wet with the spray that I couldn't even take a photo!), I thought the worst was over. I was wrong. We had to climb up higher and right after this photo was taken, my youngest son had to reach down with his hiking pole for me to grab on to so he could pull me up while my husband helped push me from behind. The rocks were enormous and I was just too little and weak to crawl up on my own. What if I had fallen? I hate to even think about it!

My oldest son took this photo and it gives you an extremely good picture of the sheer wildness of the area. We were hiking along the river, crossing boulders and pulling ourselves up and down extremely muddy hills with ropes (with no harnesses!). My poor daughter-in-law almost fell off a cliff when attempting to crawl over a flat rock turned at a 60° angle on the side of one hill.  Honestly,  that hike out of the jungle was the scariest thing I've ever done in my life...

And then it began raining... and the rain turned the "trail" into a clay-like mud that practically swallowed our shoes with each step. And the stones turned into slippery, slimy pieces of rock. And the falling began in earnest. I can't even tell you how many times I fell over the 8 hours that we hiked. It was truly amazing that I didn't break a bone, given the fact that I have osteoporosis; a miracle in my mind! But, I did manage to twist both ankles and my left knee so severely that I had to hold on to the guide's arm or hand for the last two hours making the hike even slower for everyone! Each painful step felt like a knife was stabbing up my leg into my knee.

At one point I fell on my bottom smack dab in the mud and just wanted to stay there. My legs felt like quivering jelly and I had almost nothing left to give. Thoughts of headlines screaming "American Family of Five Dies in Panama Jungle" started going through my head. I truly thought I was going to die... But, somehow, I managed to struggle to my feet and  began trudging through the rain and mud while asking the guide every ten minutes, "Are we almost there?" He just looked at me with sad, brown eyes and shook his head. When we finally saw that muddy cow-pie filled field I was overjoyed because I knew we were close! Who thought I'd ever be happy to be walking through that stuff?! And when I glimpsed the  rusty truck waiting to take us five exhausted, sopping wet, mud-covered Americans back to the hotel for what surely would feel like the best shower ever, I simply said, "Thank God." 

After showering, we couldn't wait to get back to civilization and when we saw a McDonald's in the next town, I practically screamed! We are not ordinarily fast-food eaters, but I've never had a meal taste so much like home as that juicy Big Mac, "world-famous" fries, and hot fudge sundae did that night. Comfort food in every sense of the word. It was exactly what we needed...

During the 5-hour car ride back to our Airbnb, I think we were all in a state of shock as to how the day had unfolded. We agreed that we should have stopped and turned around after the first waterfall. There were warning signs... The guides tore down a fence at one point so we could continue on our hike. Was it being blocked because it was too dangerous? The guides wanted to be fully paid before the hike... I think that should have raised questions on our part. Our emotions ran the gamut from anger to betrayal to relief to numbness. To be honest, I have had difficulty sleeping since that hike--I keep playing it over and over in my head and realizing just how lucky I was to come out of it relatively unscathed. The soreness in my legs and upper arms (from using the ropes to pull myself up and down hillsides) was unbelievable for a few days. I can't imagine how bad it would have been if I weren't a regular exerciser. My body was covered with bruises that have, thankfully, faded away.

The moral of my story is this--trust your gut and learn when to say "enough is enough." Other countries are very different from the United States and have few, if any, standards for guides in the tourism industry. Outside of Panama City, it was a bit like the "wild-wild west." Anything goes so to speak! We know that some day, we'll look back on this story and laugh and shake our heads. It will be one of those tales that becomes  part of our "family folklore," that's for sure. But, for now... I'm still feeling very thankful to be alive and living in the United States of America. ♥♥♥ There really is no place like home. Oh, and by the way--did we see any animals or wildlife on that horrid hike? Just one small snake resting on the side of a tree...

So, this post has taken me many hours to put together (yes, I am crazy, but I want to put everything into words to read when I'm old(er) and gray(er) and can no longer recall our travels in such detail). I look forward to writing the final portion on the arts and history of Panama--I think you'll enjoy it!  Until then, thank you all for your wonderful and thoughtful comments. They really mean so much to me. Enjoy your weekend and I hope those of you in the path of Hurricane Florence stay safe. Bye for now...


Margaret said...

OMG!!!! So scary! Where did you find this guided hike? Thank goodness you all came out relatively unscathed. That is just crazy! I know one thing for sure, I wouldn't have been able to do it at all. You are definitely in good shape! Anyway, I'm glad the other hikes were safer and nicer. lol! And I love all your bee stitching! What a great display! Just beautiful! And seriously -- this must be a first. Me? First to comment? Unless someone beat me to it. lol!

Preeti said...

Hi Carol, Your bee finishes look so pretty arranged together. Now you have unlimited supply of honey in the kitchen:) Glad to know about the good parts of your trip. Sorry about the disastrous hike and thankfully you and your family returned back safely. I hope you checked reviews of that site before visiting whether it was open(since you mentioned about breaking fence) to public and safe.

Stasi said...

OMG Carol....what a harrowing hike!!! So happy you and your family made it out without serious injury. So sorry, you were battered and bruised and are having sleep issues due to it...understandably so! I'm sure it WILL become part of your family lore and recounted many times in the future...though perhaps NOT fondly by you.
You know I love your bee pieces and they are displayed so sweetly. I'm hard put to pick a favorite..they are all fabulous!!!
Thanks for a great read!

Vickie said...

Okay your bee stitching is so sweet Carol.
HOLY SMOKES!!! I have to say I am thankful to God you are all here and alive and well!!! wOw! No thank you!

Mary said...

I have been anxiously awaiting your hike from hell story and it was enthralling!! What a nightmare of a hike. I am so glad that you all survived it in one piece. I think I would have refused to budge at the point where you had to cross over the river holding onto a rope. What on earth was their definition of not getting wet??? I'll be back to read the rest, I had to skip to the exciting, terrifying part!

Mary - Lecoeurceltique said...

We love hiking but your hike sounds a nightmare. Thank goodness, you all made it back in one piece.

Love your bowl of bee stitching. It's a great theme. I couldn't chose one ornament as I love them all!

Sandra said...

What wonderful stitching in the bee theme!

That's some adventurous hike you had! Thank goodness you are all safe and sound. Your poor body took quite a beating.

Robin in Virginia said...

Carol, your bee stitches and bee bowl look fabulous. I know they bring (and will bring) you much delight. Your first three hikes along with the photos sounded/looked fabulous. I think I would have given up on the 4th one after seeing the machete. Glad you made it okay! Enjoy your weekend!

Arlene Grimm said...

The pillow on the bottom left is my favorite. Your bowl is beautiful!! As for the are a brave girl. I would have been sitting at the pool at the hotel, sipping a drink while the guys explored. Can you tell I am not much of a nature girl. I admire those of you who trek in the wilderness!:) The pictures are amazing and I know that you are glad for the experience now that you are home safe and sound.

Cole said...

The weather has been crazy... we had snow this week! Yes, SNOW!!

Your bee bowl is beautiful, your finishing is gorgeous as usual :)

That hike, yikes! So glad you all made it out ok, I don't know if I would have :o

Sandy said...

I don't know whether to cry or laugh. I hope you are able to enjoy the story over the years, but I am sure I would have screamed with joy over the McDonald's too and I lecture Mother all the time about eating there. I bet the sight of it just screamed get me back to civilization. I can't even imagine trudging through the water. I would have been overcome with fear. I guess is you have to put fear aside to make it back.
Now, for the stitching...the bee bowl is adorable. I actually think I like the one you just finished the best, but all are wonderful. A fun idea for stitching especially to tide us over to fall.
Can't wait to read the final installment.

Katie said...

Oh Carol. What an adventure. How scary. You wrote it so detailed I felt like I was there and I really didn't want to be. I'm so glad you were okay...well as okay as could be. You are right though we should trust our guts.

I do love your bee bowl of beautiful stitching. I think you should stop traveling to scary places and just stitch instead haha.

Lynda Ruth Bowers said...

Holy Cow, what an adventure you had. I would not have done any more after the first waterfall. You are brave lady. big hugs
I love your bee stitching.

Sherri said...

My first thought was wow, she's really adventurous! That seemed to be the hike to hell and back. I'm surprised you had the energy to lift that burger! Glad you all survived it and you now have a conversation starter. As for your stitching and finishing, love them all especially the H for Hive. Cute stuff.

Barb R. said...

Hi Carol - Oh what an amazing adventure you and your family experienced in Panama! I think we are all truly in awe over what you all did and also thrilled that you all made it through that last hike - maybe really tired and sore but safely returned to your Airbandb. I was quite surprised that you had to travel five hours just to get to that hiking location and five hours back after all you been through! I truly hope you have recovered from all the aches and pains you had to endure. Taking all those photos will be so good as a reminder to all of you what you had to do when you are remembering this trip. Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us - it really is quite amazing.

As for your stitching - oh, how I love all of your bees! Seriously, what a great idea and the display on your kitchen side table is so beautiful. Now I want to find some bees and stitch them too.

Your posts are always so wonderful and so much fun to read and to admire all of your beautiful stitching. I hope you and all of your family are fine and doing well. Hugs to all of you!!

besomom said...

Whoa, what an adventure! I hope you aren't second guessing your decision to do that hike. It was harrowing and maybe not a good idea, but how were you to know that going into it? The warning signs only seem like warning signs in hindsight. Lesson learned, and I'm glad you all survived, because it does sound like it could have taken a very bad turn. I hope you find a nice pattern to cross stitch your way through your post-trauma anxiety.

Wendy @ Wendysquiltsandmore said...

Oh no Carol! That hike sounds terrible. I would have hated it too. I do think writing it down might have helped you in some way. I certainly hope so. I’m glad you are safely back home now.

Karen said...

Your bee finishes and bee bowl are lovely. I don't think I would have the foresight to alter the colors to coordinate all the pieces.

Daniela Bencúrová said...

Dear Carol, the bee kit is beautiful. H is for Honeybee i got it too :-)
Beautiful nature in Panama! Thank you for sharing!

Maggee said...

Of course, the bee stitches are adorable and cute! You are so talented! As for the hike... I obviously know the ending, cause you wrote about it... but... holey moley! I went hiking once, no twice, and had to have help to get through it--first, with hubby (which was a totally unpleasant trip all around... never again!), and the second time was with my oldest's family. I learned that my fear of heights has gotten so extreme... I froze at a bridge crossing and had to be 'rescued' and brought back to the car cause I was too scared to go on! YOU are my heroine!! But I am so sorry that it had to happen, and that you were injured, and that you are 'scarred' from that particular experience. In time, perhaps you will forget about it. It could happen... Hugs!

Meg said...

Hi, Carol! I haven’t even finished reading your post yet, but that prickly tree photo piqued my interest so much that I rushed over to Google it. I think it’s a floss-silk tree, native to South America. Here’s the article:

Isn’t it ironic that a cross-stitcher found a floss-silk tree? *grin*

Your bee bowl display is just breathtaking. Truly. I love them all and I don’t think I could pick a favorite. They are all so pretty. Your latest addition is just...WOW.

Looking forward to reading the rest of the post! Haha. Let me know if you think I got that tree right.

Hugs to you!

Claire said...

Oh my goodness that is one heck of an adventure! I bet those guides were counting on you turning back after the first waterfall and having the rest of the day off! That is a very scary experience and yes, you are very lucky. I bet you had an interesting time trying to get those white pants clean after all that! I am sure this will be a forever family story but I doubt that there will be any laughing about it. So glad you are safe!I loved seeing all your wonderful pictures of the wildlife. As for the stitching...incredible! The finishes add so much to the already exquisite pieces. Just beautiful! I can't wait to see which Prairie Schooler piece you have been working on and hear about the history and arts. Until then...

Barbara said...

Your Bee Bowl is such a clever and attractive idea! I guess a stitcher could choose any theme and make a similar grouping. I like that!

The milky blue of the streams was amazing!

I don’t like to sweat, either!

That hike!!! I simply would not have survived. You are obviously made of hardy stuff!!

Jackie said...

I'm sitting here staring at the screen with my mouth open! I'm in shock and I wasn't on the hike! WHOA!

Barb said...

First, your bee bowl is so cute and it will be fun to add to it each year. Well, what an experience you had. You did give the best advice follow your gut! I can't even imagine what you went through. I am so glad you had the boys and your husband for support even after the hike. I would guess that it is so true, we Americans just can't take for granted what other cultures think of as normal. Those guides probably needed the money but that is no excuse for endangering all of you. I can imagine that MacDonalds never looked so good!

Jessica said...

Wow you had quite the adventure!! So scary! And yet so beautiful at the same time.

I just started following your instagram. I'm oldcrowhomestead. Mine is private, but you can follow back if you want to, but don't have to. :)

MartinaM said...

Hi Carol,
My month so far is still very warm, lots of sun and hardly any rain.
Your little pillow looks perfect, it all fits together nicely, the fabric, the colors. My favorite - the last of Sub Rosa. A nice decoration is the whole bowl of bee cushions. Wonderful to look at.
Oh, you are very brave - I probably would not have gone further on the first river crossing. But it also has postitives - you have wonderful memories and experiences.
Thank you for the second part of your journey.
Have a nice weekend, Hugs Martina

Gabi said...

Wow, what an adventure. You were very brave.
Wonderful stitching and nice decoration.
Thanks for sharing your trip with us.
Have a happy weekend and greetings.

maxi said...

Hey Carol,
your bee ornaments als so cute! Thank you for showing your holiday pictures!
Happy Stitching

Tricia B said...

Wow, thats a lot. We hike often on our trips, too, and Ive sometimes felt like we were overreaching our energy level but nothing like this. I am vey glad that you made it with no real injuries. In the moment it is very scary, though. We hiked through many a cow and sheep pattie filled field in the Cotwolds but not with the added treacherous hiking youve described. Egads, Carol! You’ll never forget Panama! The bee stitching is quite a juxtaposition with this tale! I love your bowl and you are right - it is perfect for pillow display! I love them all, dont make me choose!

Marilyn said...

Your bee Bowl looks fantastic!
Love the colors in Bee's Reverie, so pretty.
WOW! That was some hike! Glad you are all ok though.
What great pics of nature there!
Thanks for sharing them.
But, no thanks to the big, ugly Spider!! :)

Manuela said...

Hallo Carol,
welch ein schöner und aufregender Reisebericht über Panama. Die Naturaufnahmen sind einfach schön und schade, dass ihr so wenige Tier gesehen habt. Auf jeden Fall hat ihr alle einen Schutzengel bei eurer Wanderung durch den Dschungel. Ich bin so froh, dass ihr da gut durch gekommen seid.
Jedes deiner Bienenkisschen ist ein wahres Kunstwerk und die Bienenschale ist wunderschön. Viel Freude daran.
Schönes Wochenende und Hugs, Manuela

Sally said...

Your bee finishes are so pretty Carol. I don't think I could pick a favourite!

Sounds like your hike was an adventure that you wouldn't want to relive. So glad you all got back safely.

kcenya1950 said...


First the good part -- love the bee stitcheries and they look terrific in the bowl.

Then, what a terrifying experience you have had. So glad that everyone made it out with only minor issues as it certainly could have had a far, far different ending. It is hard, sometimes, to call it quits when something you have started appears to be not what you were expecting. If there is a next time, I hope everyone will indeed, trust their guts. It's something that I have finally learned to do. Sometimes....

Susan Lankford said...

Good heavens! What an experience! I laughed and grimaced over that last "hike" and your family are fortunate to be in one piece! I venture to say those guides never thought your family would be able to finish and that they would have a short day!

Your bee stitching is, of course, each and every one.

Oh and I can't go without remarking on the beauty of all the pictures...well done! Your commentary is always worth its weight in gold. I'm quite sure you were a great librarian.

Patricia Dee said...

OMG!! I'm at a loss for words. Your last hike was both scary and adventurous. An experience to tell your grand kids.

Your bee designs are really cute. Looking forward to seeing what Autumn designs you stitch.

Faith... said...

Beautiful scenery and I loved seeing all the animals (even those poor boney cows) along your hike but you are right. When enough is enough GO BACK! It looked pretty scary and to think the guide probably does it all the time - yikes! Glad you had a great trip anyway!

Love the Bowl of Bees. They look great and I love the bowl you have them displayed in.

Christine said...

First, your bee pieces are adorable. I especially love the finishing on the Bee Reverie and thank you for the link to the pattern! That said, hopefully a year from now, you will be recovered both physically and mentally to be able to see some humor in that terribly scary hike. Let it be a warning to everyone to seriously check out the reputation of "guides". Glad you are home and safe.

rosey175 said...

Ooo look at that bee bowl! I like the elongated shape too. I would think a shallow bowl-like bowl (hah) would work for something like biscornu though, maybe? It's hard to pick a favorite but I would say the little round Prairie Schooler is my favorite finish but I like the design of the pretty Subrosa design.

Oh my. I'm a bit of a weirdo who enjoys difficult hiking like that but not being LIED to about the difficulty or water crossings. There is apparel for that kind of stuff for a reason! Usually the uniqueness is worth the trip but yeesh, gotta be safe about it to enjoy it. I'm glad your son had a waterproof bag... that shouldn't have been needed in the first place.

Cindy said...

Oh my gosh, Carol! I can't believe that hike. I know we are the same age and I like to hike too, but I an't even imagine it. (I have some friends that have already broken hips and have bad knees.) I have always wanted to go to Costa Rica for the plant and animal life, but I may rethink that idea! I'm so glad that your other hikes were good and you came back Ok.
I really enjoyed seeing all of your bee projects. I should do more of them. I have our guest bath all decked out in bee and beehive stuff.

Take care and have a great rest of September!

Mini said...

All your bee finished are so pretty. The way you put all the bee things together is so creative.

I have done a few treks but nothing like this. Is hiking different from trekking? I think you are very brave to take up such dangerous hike . I would have shouted at the guide and came back :)
I don't like when tour guides don't understand what the tourists are looking for and ignore safety aspect.
I'm so proud of you to do such hikes and pray you recover from the shock soon.

Natasha said...

Oh my what an adventure. I was biting my nails with anticipation reading all the way to the end I'm glad y'all made it out safe.

Shelly said...

Wow, Carol. That last hike was a doozy! At first I was like Oh you all look like Indiana Jones but when I saw you suspended over that 'river' hanging on to the pole, I thought oh no. I can see you all laughing about this maybe in another year but right now I'm just glad you are relatively unscathed except for soreness and bruises. I would too have trouble sleeping over the what-ifs.

You know, when you have stitched up all your Bee stitchings, you got to have a Bee tree! My favorite is on the lower left on your picture of all your Bee pillows; looks like a LHN maybe? Anyway, beautiful finishing as usual! Have a nice Sunday!

Julie said...

Firstly the bee bowl is beautiful
Secondly - the hike sounds like a nightmare!!
love and {hugs} x

Annie said...

Love the bee collection. The round pinkeep is just perfect. Necessity is the mother of invention when it comes to those markers!

My goodness what an adventure. When I started reading, I was waiting for you to talk about bug bites since your arms and lower legs were bare. Little did I know how that would have been the least of our problems! You are amazing and you sure have a great story to tell now for years!

Leonore Winterer said...

Your bee bowl is lovely - It's amazing how well all those different charts match!
Hiking in Panama (well, at least the first two trips) sounds like fun - to see all these animals you usually only read about must have been amazing.
That last trip It reads like a great adventure from the safety of my own chair, but I can see how scary it must have been. I'm glad your guides brought you back safely in the end, but I'm scared to think what they might have done if one of you actually got seriously injured...they don't sound like the most honest of people.

Sweet Sue said...

Hi Carol ~ such sweet finishes! As for the hike from hell, all I can say is YIKES! Glad you are home safe and sound.

Lili said...

Your Bee display is so pretty! All the bee ornaments are so gorgeous, but my favourite ornament is the one by SubRosa!

Cathy H. said...

OH MY!! What an extreme hike! I know I would never have made it! Yes, someday you will look back and laugh at all that! Love your bee bowl! You found the perfect bowl for displaying them! My favorite is the one with the alphabet on it. I just love alphabets.

RJ said...

What a hiking experience you had Carol. I was scared just reading it so I can't imagine being there. It sure looked beautiful but very dangerous. I can just picture me on those slippery rocks. How in the world could they tell you that you wouldn't get wet??? You know it's been a harrowing experience when a McDonald's meal brings comfort. LOL!!!

Love your new bee cuter then the next. And all of your finishes are superb! They look wonderful in your dough bowl.

Glad you are home safe and sound. We just got back from a week at the beach. It was relaxing and needed. RJ

Irene said...

WOW che avventura!! Che bella idea i ricami a tema e io adoro le api.

Mavi. said...

Ohhhh Dios mio Carol, que aventura. Lo lógico habría sido darse la vuelta. Pero bueno, visto que lo habéis conseguido no sin una gran dosis de riesgo, seguro que es algo que no olvidaréis fácilmente. La excursión de película y el viaje estupendo a Panamá.
Los cojines con los bordados de las abejas te han quedado preciosos y tan bonitos rematados como siempre.
Que sigas disfrutando de la vida y del tiempo como mejor os guste.
Muchos besos.

Kaisievic said...

Oh my goodness, Carol, that last hike sounds like a real ordeal - so thankful that you all came out of it relatively unscathed. But, as you say, what a story to tell later on in life! Lovely, lovely bee stitching - a much safer occupation, I think.

Penny said...

Your bee finishes are just beautiful, Carol, and make such a lovely display! And you saw some amazing scenery on your trip to Panama! I have to say your description of the "hike from hell" read like an adventure novel. 🙂A machete, wow, that wouldn't have been promising. I'm happy you survived to tell the story, and I think you deserve some kind of expert hiker badge after that outing!🙂

Just me said...

Wow, I am so glad you and your family are okay!!! That story leaves me speechless just pondering all the possibilities that could have happened. I so love to see all your stitching and finishes and look foward to reading your blog, so I respectfully request that you not injure yourself!!

Me in NY

Beth said...

Wow! What a post Carol! First off - you must know how I feel about bee / bee skep motifs - love 'em! And your group of six finishes - just charming - I'm so into it that I recognized all the designs / designers. I am sorry that you did not see many birds - all I know is that the best birding is early in the morning and in the evening before dusk. I have read that birding is really hard in 'jungle' areas as the birds are generally hidden in the tree canopy and are difficult to see - a guide and good binocs are generally recommended. I hope to someday do a birding trip in Costa Rica, Panama, or Belize. You last hike sounds both scary and really dangerous. I am glad you got through it without harm.

Jennifer said...

Holy cow Carol! That’s a scary hike and I am so glad you all got out of it (relatively) unscathed! The other hikes looked lovely, though. What an experience. You bee bowl is fantastic and you did a great job making all the colors work together, such pretty stitching. Hope you’ve had a good week - fall has arrived overnight in Indy, so it should be headed your way!

diamondc said...

Carol: Such amazing photos, I have never been to Panama but wish to visit soon.
I love the frog photo and the waterfalls are my favorite photos.
I like to hike but once in a while I have a bad experience, I am so happy you had three good hikes.
The cutter ants are something else.
I love your Bee stitching, your finishing is beautiful.

Quiltingwiththefarmerswife said...

That is an adventure I prefer not to take except when reading. Loved reading River of Dought, Lost City of Z, and Manchu Pichu but have no desire to hike in the jungle. I have too many fobias about bugs and snakes and a huge fear of heights.
Love your basket of bee pillows. That is my speed! Think I will attempt the free-be one you listed. Patty Mc

Andrea said...

Love the bee stitching. Your display is beautiful.

Oh my gosh! You are made of stern stuff. That sounded very scary. The other 3 hikes sounded so much better.

Have a good week.

Linda said...

Congrats on all of the gorgeous finishes as always Carol. Your trip looked like fun except for the last one. The first whack he made to make a trail I would have turned around and said see ya later.


Hilda said...

Oh my dear friend, what a horrible trip! Well, I really love a good adventure, but your story sounds really scary. Thank god, that everything ended well. The only good thing on that will be (and stay) that you have spent that horrible hours together with your boys and daughter in law.

How much lovelier and sweeter are your bee finishes! I love your bowl of bees, dear Carol. Such a great idea and such adorable finishes!

Looking forward do seeing your bigger Christmas finis soon.

Have a wonderful first week of Autumn, dear friend!


Jutta said...

Dear June,
Bravo! Your numerous bees, hives and insects all look so great.
Thank you for the wonderful photos of your Panama trip, I enjoyed them very much (wirh a good cup of coffee).

Brigitte said...

This post starts with such a cozy look at your bee bowl. There are wonderful bee designs out there and you have stitched and finished some very beautiful ones. I also love the look of Esther's little freebie design and I think I have it in my stash somewhere. But I haven't stitched anything for ages because I lack the motivation for it at the moment. But it will come back.
Then on to your Panama adventures. And adventure isn't the right word for what you experienced. The first walk through the woods was very comfortable compared to your adventurous trip into the wild of the mountains. It really sounds rather scary and you all were lucky to come back only with bruises and twisted ankles in your case - and not with a broken bone. I was holding my breath several times while reading your trip report. Good that it ended well.

ricketyjo said...

Hi Carol,
What lovely bee stitching you've made! I think I like the alphabet one best but they are all really sweet!

And oh my goodness what a scary adventure in Panama! I would have been so terrified! Some lovely photos from your trip though. I like that little Coati :)

Sheryl S. said...

Such a lovely display of bees, I like how you have finished each embroidered piece and especialy the lovely black trim on the Garden Beasties pattern. I enjoyed seeing your photos of Panama but the last adventure sounds really awful and could hardly have been worse- an experience to forget.