My sympathies to Sue and close family members — I just learned today about your loss (April 11, 2023).
I'm envious of those who knew Dr. Alcock for so many years more than I had the pleasure of his acquaintance and friendship – but I'm thankful to have known him. Sonoran Desert Spring was among the first books I bought when we moved to Arizona in the late 90s, and there are chapters i have re-read over the decades since.
I'm also thankful for the years I worked at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, where my job gave me an excuse to meet and collaborate with so many biologists, naturalists and authors I held in esteem. Including John, who graciously accepted several invitations to host slideshow lectures and meet-the-author events at BTA.
As we grew better acquainted, he expressed interest in my home-brewed beers and wines — and we began trading — and my library boasts several signed editions of his books, bartered for my comparatively humble homebrews.
Among memories I'm happily summoning today?
One late spring day when I was invited to join John and two other guests of his, counting insects and surveying spring flowers at one of the many hilltops in the northeast Mesa area, which were featured chapters in Sonoran Desert Spring and Sonoran Desert Summer.
I last saw John during the first year of the covid pandemic, when he drove up to Globe for a morning of 'socially distant birding' outdoors — and my offer to sned him home with a few bottles of pomegranate-mulberry wine. Among our goals that day? To see the beautiful and snow-white leucistic Redtailed Hawk, which had taken up residence in this area — and she circled overhead just before he needed to depart and drive back to Tempe.
I'm thankful to have known him.