George Boyd possessed the precision and curiosity of a fine hunter, but not the killer instinct. When he captured his prey, it was with his zoom lens. His trophies were his photographs, of which he claimed thousands.
Boyd, 86, died peacefully in his home Saturday after lying down for a nap and not waking, according to an incident report.
We last interviewed Boyd — a well-known and much-loved nature photographer and wildlife specialist — for a November story.
A White Rock area homeowner for 50-plus years, Boyd shared his image-stuffed scrapbooks and pointed out his favorites (the red fox, in particular); much of his White Rock wildlife-themed work has been included in local photography exhibits over the years.
He discussed with us his fondness of White Rock Lake and its surrounding environs and displayed a palpable love of family — wife Shirley with whom he traveled to Big Bend, where he discovered his keen interest in nature and birding and his youngest son, who first talked him into buying a camera, for examples.
In 2009, Boyd was working at Wild Birds Unlimited when I interviewed him about the monk parakeet colony at White Rock Lake. He explained why the bright-green birds nest in the TXU electrical towers (the South American natives like the heat) and theorized how they wound up in our neighborhood. He told us that he’s seen White Rock’s parakeet colony grow from eight to dozens to a hundred or more in his years here.
Though Boyd was stealthy and unassuming, most of us who frequent White Rock Lake will feel his absence; in years past he has been a fixture there, always willing to educate the curious on the lake’s myriad species.
Back in May 2000, George first told Advocate readers about his impetus for learning birdcalls. It was a form of distraction, he explained, while he logged miles training for the White Rock marathon.
In addition to animals, he meticulously photographed all manner of wildflower, paying particular attention to the most-minute details.
“It has a spiritual side,” Boyd told the Advocate at the time. “It’s a real blessing seeing the artistry of God and photographing it big enough to really see the detail and appreciate it.”
And George Boyd was a vessel of that artistry; he leaves behind a legacy of life-affirming documentation of all the wild little details that make our neighborhood beautiful.
Visitation — Thursday, May 1 at Grove Hill Cemetery at (time TBD)
Memorial Service — Friday, May 2 at 1800 Barnes Bridge at 4 p.m. and followed by reception at 10210 Lake Highlands Drive.