Once my grandmother watched a moose give birth in the woods. People do not believe this. Impossible! What are the chances? My grandmother’s odds of seeing the extraordinary were higher than most. She spent a lifetime in the mixed deciduous-coniferous forest of central Ontario. When you put in as many hours on the trail as she did, you’re bound to see the occasional miracle.
I’m a long way from Canada, wading shin-deep on the saltwater flats of the Joulter Cays, but my grandmother and her moose are on my mind. The Joulters are a scattering of low-lying uninhabited islands off the coast of North Andros, Bahamas. Like the rest of the Lucayan Archipelago, the Joulters are limestone karst, the remains of long-ago coral reefs, dotted on their highest points with tough, salt-resistant plants and, in the low spots, mangroves.
During hurricanes, many of the smaller islands are inundated by the sea. High tide throws piles of yellow-green sargasso on the shore. Low tide exposes acres of white-gold sand.