The birds and natural world will miss a true friend.
I'm writing his story but today I'll pause awhile. I'll do as I often do when I need inspiration. I'll watch one of his films and marvel at his special gift.
"John taught me so much. He was my inspiration and mentor," photographer Seth Patterson said.
"John has a sixth sense for finding birds, more than anybody I've ever seen," said Tony Mercieca, photographer and John's friend of many years.
"I'm the one who carried his tripod," Larry Lof, executive director of the Gorgas Science Foundation laughed when I asked if he accompanied John to El Cielo.
Photographers Steve Sinclair and Lee Zieger shared similar memories of John. It seems like just yesterday that we stood by his hospital bed and laughed at the stories of good times.
In his 86 years, John experienced poverty, hunger, Nazi occupation, new countries and a career as an international cinematographer. He searched for beauty in nature and when he found it, he shared it with the world. Born in Belgium, he immigrated to Canada. A Canadian citizen, he has been a permanent resident of the US for more than twenty years.
John, you will be missed but never forgotten. I hope there are beautiful hummingbirds in heaven.