For several years I have been driving past a pasture in the country where, every January, I would see a huge mass of white birds milling about. In 2013 I took pictures and wrote a post called The Great Swan Meet n Greet. Back in 2013 I didn't know what kind of birds they were, and my curiosity finally drove me to turn to a local naturalist who had a regular radio program called "John Cooney's Natural World". I emailed him about the birds and sent him the picture below, not really expecting him to get back to me---but he promptly did and explained that these birds are migrating tundra swans!
I was so happy that he wrote me back and told me about these birds, and now I look for them every January. Yesterday, I was driving out in that area again, anticipating that I would see them, and indeed, at milepost 1 (they always gather in the same pasture) there they were!! However, this time I had a bittersweet feeling seeing them because I found out that in late 2014 John Cooney passed away from cancer. I didn't know the man and, aside from that one email (and of course, listening to his shows) I had never had any other interactions with him. But he touched my life in a way that I will always remember and will always associate with these birds. In a way, I guess, a tiny part of him is in that pasture with the swans. So, thank you John Cooney :)
If you are interested in hearing some of his shows, they can be found here.