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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
April 21, 1995     Cape Gazette
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April 21, 1995
 

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Frank Prekup's gourd colonies attract flocks of purple martins each spring In January, the deepestpart of each winter, Frank Prekup works on gourds under fluorescent lights in the shop outside his home near Milton. At the same time in the rain forests of Brazil, purple martins - the largest of the swallow family - begin flocking in the moist warmth as they prepare for their annual migration toward the North American summer. By the last week of March, Prekup's gourds and the purple martins converge. "The martins love to nest in the gourds and I love to prepare them for the birds. I don't know what my life would be without them," he said this week as martins flew around his home. "They're very calming to me." Prekup lives on an acre of ground in the wide open spaces of Sussex west of Milton, on Rd. 238. His neatly kept mobile home, one mortgage payment away from free and clear, is sur- rounded b.y tall poles. Some are festooned with white-painted hanging gourds; others are mount- ed at the top with aluminum mar- tin houses. This is the third year Prekup has lived on his Milton property. In all, he has 40 gourds hung for pairs of martins and nine houses on separate poles. By Wednes- day, April 19, 27 martins had ar- rived from Brazil to take up resi- dence. Before the arrivals finish this year, he anticipates 200 to 250 martins flying around his proper- ty. The birds are a flurry of activity each morning as they go about their mating and nesting activities. "They're music to my ears - the chirping, the carrying on and the soaring." In the afternoon they head off in flocks to feed. "Brittingham Branch [which feeds Wagamon's Pond and the Broadkill River in Milton] is behind me and they swarm back there over the tree- tops and consume thousands of mosquitoes each day. They're priceless when you consider the amount of unwanted insects and BAREFOOTIN' Dennis Forney mosquitoes they consume every day." The older martins are the first to arrive each spring. "They're called scouts and they like to get north early to pick out the best nesting sites. Martins don't get their full dark color until they're three and the first birds that show up are almost always the darkest of them." Wearing his Purple Martin Con- servation Association t-shirt, Prekup explains that the martins will stay around through the sum- mer until August when they begin leaving for their long migration back to Brazil for the South American summer. When they're gone, he takes down the nests, cleans them and stores them for the winter, and starts the cycle all over again. A man of the seasons, Prekup makes his living off the land and the water. When the martins ar- rive each spring, Frank's done much more than simply put up their houses and gourds. He's al- so prepared areas of mud and straw that the birds use for cus- tomizing their nests, he's placed a handful of cedar chips in each nesting cavity to deter mites and fleas, and he's tilled up garden plots in a variety of locations around his home. Prekup tills garden plots for people as a business, from Milford down to Rehoboth. In his own plots, he plants dozens of gourd Continued on page 8 Dennis Forney photo Frank Prekup stands in his shop surrounded by gourd nests in various stages of completion. CAPE GAZEIrE, Friday, April 21 - April 27, 1995 - 7 LIST YOUR HOME WITH THE HOME TEAM*- NORTH SHORES Crows nest design, 5 BR, 3 BA beach house in tranquil wooded setting. This home is In extremely good con- dltlon. Being sold fully fumished. $298,5oo. Call Doug Dovls: 227-611 I. THE GLADE One of the Best Beach Buysl Con- temporary 3 BR, 2 BA ranch, great room, fireplace. Just 2 miles to beach. $189,S00. Call Curl Ayres or Undo D.: 227-6200. NESTLED IN THE TREES Boy Vista - Attractive home on high wooded lot. 4 BR, 3 BA, family room & garage. Near bay with community boot docks. $163,000. Co# Shirley Bennett: 227-6200. .... :, .... . =,  ": ...... ...... li . , FABULOUS VIEWS Of the ocean and the bay from the balconies and rooftop deck. This beautifully decorated town- home in the ocean block is In excellent condition. $259.500. Call Sandra: 227..611 I. SUNSETS OVER THE BAY Are your to enjoy from the front deck of this magnificent 3 BR, 2 BA home on Rehoboth Bayl Enjoy the water 'view from the front deck and living area. $284,900. Ask for Ham/: 227-6 11 I. BAY VIEW Rehoboth Beach Yacht & Country Club - Fabulous contemporary home with 3 master suites. Fantas- tic view of Rehobath Bay. tI3L000. Call Pat Renault:. 227-6200. WATERFRONT On Reclmlll Pondl Boat dock, bulk- head. Enjoy the water view from your deck, screened porch, or Florl- da room. 4 BR, 3 I/2 BA. $217,500. Coll Horry Woo 227-6111.   ....... i, LAKE VIEW Henlopen Condominium - Beauti- ful view of Lake Gerar from this nicely decorated 2 BR, 2 BA unit. $218,000. Cal/tc/ $aleck/: 227-6409. SANDY BRAE A very well maintained house on a ge lot. Close to outlet shopping. 49,000. Call Helen Blebec 227-611 I. I EASY UPKEEP AFFORDABLE BAYSlDE HOME Maplewood - Exceptional 2 BR, 2 BA, Located Just west of Fenwick blind ranch style home. Fireplace, in Bayvlew Estates which offers screened porch and community comm. pool, tennb, clubhouse and pool. boat ramp. Thb 4 BR, home is perfect $117,500. for retiree with 2 BR, and BA on first Co//Ctm Emmet/:. 227-6200. floor. Ccdl Audrey Prettymon: 227-6 11 I. LAZY LAKE Mobile home plus addition. 2 car garage, paved driveway, screened porch, C/A, 3 BR & 1 I/2 BA. $87,9oo. Ruby done,: 227-6,00. NEAR OAK ORCHARD Lovely 3 BR rancher on 2 acres of land. 3 miles to Indian River. You'll be right at home In this quiet, wooded ffing 09,900. Call Bob Hocketl: 227-611 I. The llome TOP NOTCH AFFORDABLE COUNTRY LIVING Spacious home featuring 4 BR, fire- Close to beach. Milton - Peaceful rural pdace, large screened porch. Per- setting on 1.6 acres, only minutes from f(ect for entertaining. Move In & the beaches. 3 BR, 1 I/2 BA, 2+ car got., enjoy, shed, enc. dog run. Only 2 yr. old, own- $;185,000. er transferred by company to VA. Ca# Unda Book: 227-6200. $105,600. Call Tom: 227-611 I. TWO OFFICES TO SERVE YOU! 4421 Highway One 302-'-B2Ob 1-800-496-9269 323 Rehoboth Avenue 1-800-999-6115