RICKY JOHNSON, ABACO NATURE GUIDE & ENTHUSIAST 1964-2013


Ricky Johnson, Abaco, Bahamas

FOR RICKY JOHNSON, ABACO NATURE GUIDE & ENTHUSIAST 1964-2013 

Ricky Johnson Bahama Palm Shores 1

No one who knew Ricky, or even merely met him, could doubt his charisma, his infectious enthusiasm for life, and for Abaco and its natural history. His Abaco Nature Tours were legendary. As non-islanders, we knew that a day out in Ricky’s company would be a hectic and memorable one. He knew where all the birds were to be found – and enticed the shy ones out of the coppice with his trademark calls. He was all-seeing and all-knowing – information about Abaco’s natural history, social history, geology, poisonous plants and bush medicine would stream from him irrepressibly throughout the day. Ask him a question? He’d know the answer. He seemed never so happy as when he spotted something and pulled the truck over, leaping out with the door open so all could hear his running commentary as he explained the properties of some small plant that most would have failed to notice. Accompanied, of course, by a gag and THAT laugh.


Ricky Johnson Bahama Palm Shores 3

In many ways, it is impertinent for occasional blow-ins to become involved in what is the island’s grief over Ricky’s tragically young passing. However in the short time we knew him – far too short – we both came to feel we had known him for many years. That was the Ricky effect. He was a joy to know, and we will remember him with joy as well as with sadness.

Ricky Johnson Pishing Woodstars Crossing Rocks Abaco

Land Crab : Ricky Johnson 2

10 thoughts on “RICKY JOHNSON, ABACO NATURE GUIDE & ENTHUSIAST 1964-2013

  1. I am sorry to hear about Mr Johnson, may he rest in peace.I have visited Marsh Harbour 4 times now and each time I wanted to take one of his tours but never got around to it. I am saddened to know that I will never meet him and get to see Abaco through his eyes.I am an avid brid watcher and was looking forward to take his tour when I visit Abaco this May. I am sure he will be missed by all who knew of him.

    • Thanks for getting in touch. We have just returned from Abaco, and like so many others we very much missed our usual wonderful day out with Ricky. Have a good trip in May – hope you can find someone else to go birding with. RH

  2. We met Ricky a couple of years ago when he asked permission to bring his group into our yard to view the parrots in our trees. He was so polite and enthusiatic about his love of Abaco and all of its flora and fauna. He was gracious and respectful of our privacy, but we told he him was welcome to come any time. We will miss looking out the kitchen window and seeing him with a group of enthusiastic tourists pointing up into the trees or telling a short story. I am sorry for Abaco’s loss. Kathy Hall

  3. I was floored by the news of his passing. I never went on a tour but I met him at Bahamas Host course and many of his visits on Green Turtle Cay. His attitude and energy was contagious. I had never seen someone who loved what they did as much as he did. He will definetly be a miss here on GTC.

  4. Thank you for expressing so well what we all feel with this tragic loss. We at Bahama Palm Shores were enchanted by him!

  5. What a terrible loss for all who knew Ricky with his charming personality and boundless enthusiasm for the natural history of the Bahamas. Ricky’s outings were so filled with information as well as humor. His knowledge of birds was especially important to me. Tony & I are so very sad for the loss of this bright, young, enthusiastic naturalist. I will always remember him in his ranger hat and khaki uniform, binoculars around his neck and a warm smile on his face. God bless and keep him. Condolences to his family and friends whose pain must be so very deep. Margaret & Tony Hoag

  6. With our deepest of Sympathy to family & friends on the passing of Ricky Johnson. Ricky was truely brilliant and inspirational in his knowledge of Abaco’s Flora & Fauna. He will be sadly missed by all.
    Alex & Trish Findlater.

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