Centuries before the arrival of the Eleutheran Adventurers and Loyalists, Lucayan Indians made their homes in the Bahamas. Having migrated north from Hispaniola a thousand years ago or more, as many as 40,000 Lucayans are thought to have lived among the Bahamian islands.
Sunset at Settlement Point, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas.
Hibiscus on Parliament Street — Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas.
You know how sometimes, the smell of something can trigger a flood of memories?
That’s what happens to me when I smell night-blooming jasmine (aka cestrum nocturnum).
Its musky, sweet fragrance reminds me of summer nights strolling through the quiet streets of Green Turtle Cay, eating ice cream and laughing with my cousins.
When Tom and I moved to Los Angeles a decade ago, I was excited to discover that jasmine was quite common. I soon learned, however, that it’s not the same as the night-blooming jasmine I know.
The jasmine we have in California blooms continuously for a few weeks during the spring. It’s covered in pristine white blooms and gives off a powerful, cloying-to-the-point-of-inducing-headaches fragrance.
By comparison, night-blooming jasmine isn’t much to look at. Most of the time, it’s just a leafy shrub with scrawny, greenish buds. But every so often, on balmy tropical evenings, those buds open and exhale delicate wafts of fragrance.
When we were young, it seemed like night-blooming jasmine was everywhere on the cay. It’s much more difficult to find these days. Fortunately, I ran into a friend last trip who has a plant, and he very graciously agreed to give me a few clippings.
I was beyond excited. For more than a decade, from the moment we began thinking about buying Fish Hooks, Tom and I envisioned having night-blooming jasmine in the yard. Junior Roberts, whose team of gardeners maintains our property, has promised to mind my prized clippings and plant them when they’re suitably rooted.
Thanks to Junior and his team, the garden at Fish Hooks is coming along nicely. Once nothing more than a rocky pit, our front yard is now carpeted with soft, healthy grass. And our flowering plants and shrubs, coconut palms and young fruit trees are all thriving.
Unfortunately, not much was in bloom while I was most recently on the cay, but fingers crossed, our oleander, hibiscus, bridal bouquet and frangipani will be blossoming when I’m back later in the spring.
And I cannot wait for the first time the fragrance from our own night-blooming jasmine wafts in from the garden!
If you’re in Abaco and headed to No Name Cay to visit the pigs of Piggyville, please bring water.
Unfortunately, there’s no source of fresh water on the island (a fact evidently overlooked by those who released the pigs on No Name to fend for themselves.)
And while Green Turtle Cay’s Pig Whisperer, Craig Russell, visits twice weekly and brings as much water as his boat will hold, it just isn’t enough for the growing piggy population – especially with summer approaching.
Thanks to Craig’s dedication, and the generosity of all who contribute food or bring it directly to No Name Cay, the pigs seem to be getting enough food. But they’re desperate for water.
Craig says that he and other visitors to No Name often meet the pigs’ water containers completely dry.
Sometimes, he says, the pigs even refuse to eat until their water supply has been replenished and they’ve had a good, long drink.
If every vessel that visited No Name brought a gallon or two of fresh water, it would make a huge difference to the pigs’ water supply. Please help if you can.
On behalf of Craig, the residents of Piggyville and all who love them, thank you!
Gillam Bay, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas.
Purple flowers on Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas.
Sunset view from the Other Shore Club, Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas.
Red ixora flowers, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas.