It’s an overcast morning in early October when I find myself walking along the rocky, unpaved pathways that snake around the aged headstones of Austin’s Oakwood Cemetery. In typical Texas fashion, it’s a humid one.
I am meeting with author Jennifer L. Bristol, but not to engage in any spooky season shenanigans. Rather, we picked the location to discuss Bristol’s latest book, “Cemetery Birding: An Unexpected Guide to Discovering Birds in Texas.”
And, of course, to do a bit of birding ourselves.
I’m following Bristol’s lead as we make our way down the paths – she’s led birding excursions in this exact cemetery since the release of her book a couple of months ago. It’s also where she took the photo of the mockingbird – “cemetery royalty,” she says – that adorns the cover. So she knows the grounds quite well.
Formerly of Texas Parks and Wildlife, Bristol now spends much of her time encouraging others to engage with and learn about birding. For this latest book, she visited some 300 cemeteries across the Lone Star State to whittle down a list to 91 – one more location than featured in her previous book, “Parking Lot Birding.”
Thank you to Raul Alonzo of the Texas Standard for the October 26, 2023 interview.