Sunday, 22 July 2012

Fear of Hights? Hahaha!

And what did the professor say? I asked my spies. You won't believe this! He quipped : Hadedas give off that raucous sound because they fear hights! This caused quite a giggle! But when you read  the book, you will learn that in fact I had a fear of landing!

Here are some more photos taken at the launch:

Top:  The professor telling my fans about The Hadeda Project currently undertaken by the Animal Demographic Unit at University of Cape Town.

Bottom:  My ghost writer in friendly discussion with Professor Underhill.

You will be interested to know that a portion of the proceeds of the sale of my book will be donated to the ADU in particular The Hadeda Project and I look forward to supporting this research.

Hopefully "The Valley of Bones" will soon be available online, and in bookstores. My ghost writer will  be signing books at  The Vines Shopping Centre, Durbanville, Cape Town  on Saturday 4th  of August 2012.

In next blog I will introduce some juicy snippets from my adventures in The Valley of Bones!

Over and out! Ha-ha-ha-deda.
Howard HH (jr)

Monday, 2 July 2012

Surrounded by Fans

Hahahadeda! Flying in from a cloud covered Table Mountain, my vulture friends, Kevin Regret and Bruce Sorrow, could easily locate the venue of my Cape Town book launch. These spies who came in from the cold, reported that there were lots of humans surrounding my ghost writer. Lots of books were sold and signed. My adventures are being read and told! Soon, I will add a book store link so that more and more friends will have access to my to-ings and fro-ings and wingings!

Friendly regards, Howard HH jnr

Saturday, 30 June 2012

"D" - Day in Cape Town

It's a typical Cape Town winter day! The dispatches that reached me say that it is cold and rainy but will clear up partially later. Today the first published batch of my adventures will be launched at The Book Lounge. However, I am totally engaged in my next adventure in the heart of Mkhuze and unavoidably, will not be at the launch. My ghost writer has agreed to stand in for me instead and sign hundreds of books. Thanks to all my fans who will brave the weather and be at the launch!!! And to the Faithful who follow this Blog!

Now hear this! Professor Les Underhill, the director of the Animal Demographic Unit at the University of Cape Town (ADU),  will give a talk concerning the activities of the ADU and in particular the "ringing" and tracking of hadedas in the Western Cape. 

Also, my wire effigy will be auctioned and sold to the highest bidder. The proceeds will go to the ADU.

More about the launch will be posted tomorrow in this Blog.

In the meantime, my special friends from the Valley of Bones Kevin Regret and Bruce Sorrow and from The 13th Vulture Squadron, (sketch compliments of Janine Ivins) will be keeping a watchful eye from 2 000 m on the events and will pick up on any dead ends.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Mkuze Choir

Let me introduce you my to a gifted 'whiz of the brush and pencil' ............ Janine, my youngest daughter. She is the charming genius, animal lover who provided the illustration below to capture the mood! Jean Visser, the official illustrator will guide the young reader (and their unsuspecting parents), through the chronicles of my adventures to Ghost Mountain and beyond.

This picture shows some of the members of the Mkuze Dawn Choir as they warm up to welcome a story book new day in the sub tropics of Zululand. HRH Lion, roars an opening aria in an earth-shattering bass that can be heard for miles. He is accompanied by a wannabe hippo tenor in full throat. The monkeys? Well they are just hanging around waiting for the rest of the choir to pitch!

Monday, 21 May 2012

New Launch Date

The launch date for 'Howard The African Hadeda and the Valley of Bones' has been moved to June 30, 2012. My clever publisher found a fantastic venue at the comfortable The Book Lounge in Roeland Street Cape Town. Great stuff. I'm looking forward to renewing many old and close friendships and meeting many new ones! (Also a feast of crunchy bugs and crickets and things will be provided).

I've been told that between snacks I would have to autograph many thousand of copies of my book as my fans clamour and  jostle the length of Roeland Street to buy one ...... This will be my absolute pleasure, of course! All for one and one for all............

To mark the occasion I practiced, beak in sand on my autograph. Hope you like it.......

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Beady-Eyed and Wired-Up

Over the weekend I made an encounter of the wired and beaded kind.  Tersia, my crafty publisher  commission a local artist with a difference and a wonderful  talent to make an effigy of me from wire and beads. This is a painstaking and skilled vocation, reserved for those with determination and patience with rolled wire and pliers. One finds these artists near most large malls in South Africa where they create most anything, from geckos, lions, elephants to beetles and bugs.

So delighted am I that I have decided to nominate Tersia as an Honorary Member of SouthAfricanBirdBrains. Thanks Tersia!

I’ve included a photo of my ‘statue’ for all to admire and look forward to your comments...........

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Meet the Humans

Fans, friends and family members.  You may have wondered where I was this last week. Well, I decided to go on a separate mission to track down my ghost writer and the publisher of my book The Adventures of Howard the African Hadeda and the Valley of Bones, which will be launched in the middle of next month, in Cape Town.

My paparazzo friend Cock Robin, spied them with his little eye and took this snapshot – from left to right Tersia the publisher and my ghost writer (sorry ghosts don’t have names), hatching up something for the event. Although they do not have bird brains they seem to be in control and the platinum hair of both inspires some confidence. Friendly byededas, Howard

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Howard : Live from Africa

Due to popular request I am including a video clip of me taking an early morning stroll and keeping a beady eye open for bugs. If you listen carefully, you will hear the words "Oh, what a wonderful morning!" Somehow, alas, everybody does not agree with me about early morning strolls and singing. Some animal types, it seems prefer to sleep in!!!  I had a close encounter of the crocodile kind in one of my adventures which is described in terrifying detail in my book!

With thanks to  Jul 20, 2008. She says:
A hadeda ibis at Pete's Pond in Botswana calls, and we soon see why. ;-) Seen on National Geographic's WildCam Africa.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Howard and Friend

Howard (left) and friend in earnest consultation on the contents of the menu at MacBugs Takeout. There are frogs in abundance, also crickets and a variety of crunchy bugs. The tranquility of  MacBugs belies the gravity of the task at hand. After all, feeding is serious business, and requires an acquired and frequently honed skill to select and spear a defiant frog. 

In the Beginning

The raucous, pre-historic like call of the hadeda, is arguably the most recognised bird call in Africa, south of the Sahara. The call of the hadeda is typically heard in the pre-dawn glow as the sun transforms the rose coloured hue on the horizon and scarlet fingers probe the sky to cast dew laden shadows on the forest and plains of the African bush veldt. It is perhaps the only bird call that sparks off, emotions of nostalgia and a irrepressible desire to be transported back in time to witness and walk among the herds of game, unspoilt bush and rivers. The quote from TV Bulpin, which heads up this blog, accurately and romantically captures the mood. Yet, there are the not so early risers that would happily hurl the coffee table at a squadron of hadedas as they skim the trees in decibel defiant unison en route to their favourite wetlands; and repeat the performance during the brief twilight hours before night returns.
This curious, in many ways comical looking bird that wades and strides through the wetlands and veldt with nonchalant abandonment,  and would be the envy of any teenage rapper, has unnoticed reached iconic status in South Africa.
The kaleidoscope of insatiable curiosity, nostalgia, emotion evoking, amusing and demure character of the hadeda inspired the author to listen, admittedly first with great disbelief, and then with uninhibited enthusiasm to Howard Hadeda (Jnr).  His first adventure has now been recorded and will be launched in mid-June.