Nice Hunt Today

So, lets just lead with a pic of today’s 4 spot.

So, today was my first real hunt since last entry.  I did have one other hunt in the meantime; spied an awesome site, went there, and could not get permission to get on the land.  Its a 50 silver site at least, IMHO (and with hard permission, maybe more, tho obviously, many are sneaking on).  Too bad.  Backup site on the day was a 74 silver site that I worked pretty well a couple of years ago (my 3rd best, and a very special site), but the zones I still had to clean up weren’t giving it up.  I should have cleaned them up at the time, but I wasn’t as organized in those days, and was much more clueless.  Its amazing how your approach to site management evolves.  I’m sure the competition has gotten those shinys that I should have gotten in the meantime.  Kudos to them.  My bad..

Maybe I should talk about today’s hunt.  Not much to say,   Site of the 9/22 and 9/29 entries, and my first time there was a year or two before that (I totally misjudged and misplayed this site, but all’s well that ends well).  Just closing out 2 small zones, and I got 4 more silvers.  2 hours hunting time.  Unbelievable.  Dug 11 coins total; 4 silvers, 3 wheates, and 4 clads.  Definitely helps those ratios, doesn’t it?  So, I’ve detected this site 4 times — 4 silvers, 5 silvers, 2 silvers, 4 silvers.  Are you kidding me?  And its now closed.  Too bad.  15 silver site, and my 17th best.  Best run rate/density site I’ve ever done at any site, tho.  Usually when a site gets to 14, it gets to 21, and from there it flies to honeyhole level.  Too bad this site is so small and is done.  Usually small sites are cleaned out by the time I get there; fortunately not this one.  Well, now its cleaned out.  I’d give it up, but you never know when a better machine will come along to allow me to reopen my closed sites.

So, lets write some more.  I haven’t been able to detect lately due to volunteering my time to a local search and rescue team.  Detecting is rarely involved (tho I did go on one task looking for bullets for the team, and I did learn about the team via a detecting project), but it is something I want to volunteer for.  Its more important to me to find lost people than lost silver, (tho the latter is always on my mind).  SAR takes alot of time, especially in the early stages, when you are clueless and are trying to learn.  Translation: more SAR volunteering, less detecting (and therefore, less detecting blogging).  See the problem with taking on sponsors?  They are gonna want a certain post run rate, certain follow run rate, and all that other BS, and if I don’t post for a month, half the followers drift away; and I’m not interested in that experience.

Finally, had some heavy rain recently.  May allow me to test my theory at the cache site from entries of a month ago, to see if rain helps find the silver there.  We’ll see.

And, here is today’s silver all shinied up.  Have to do this for the script that does the gallery –

More Abandoned House Silver

Back to yesterday’s site (who wouldn’t?) to finish it off, and had a nice day, pulling a barber Q, a pair of mercs, 9 wheaties, and another toasted Indian.

The barber Q was hard, and I almost didn’t dig it.  First of all, I was running on channel 7 (and despite having found nearly 1200 silvers, I have never ever found one on channel 7 (I think its a crap channel for silver), but for some reason, there was brutal EMI here today, and channel 7 was by far the quietest for some reason, and it did hit a reasonably deep wheatie).

When I hit the Q, it seemed like an iron false, a deep, iffy high tone with an FE # in the 20s, and when you pinpoint, its wasn’t a tight pinpoint, but a long, linear, pinpoint, the signature of a false off the end of a deep nail.  But, when carefully going over the area in pinpoint mode, there was a slight drop in signal strength between the putative ferrous iron object and the putative Q, and that is the tell to dig, and there it was.  We’ll take it.

I’ve seen this before, and I think the takeaway tip is this — when you can’t tell between an iron false and a deep silver next to iron, go as slow as molasses over it, and listen for a subtle signal drop between the nail and its putative end.  If you get that, dig, otherwise move on.

The merc’s were both slam dunks.  We’ll take them too.  So, that’s that — opened the site yesterday, and closed it today.  Farewell farewell.  I prefer sites that take 2 months to work, not 2 days, but we’ll take it.  5 silvers from an abandoned home, 4 indians, and a possible extremely rare coin (we’ll see at some point).  Not bad, not bad at all.  But, it leaves us wondering what our next trick will be.  I guess we’ll see.

BTW, that barber Q is my 10th career, and 2nd of the year.  They are hard to find, but this is a nice one, full liberty and beautiful, shiny features.  Stunning when it came out of the dirt.  Too bad the pic doesn’t do it justice –

Rare SLQ?

Alot goin’ on with this one, but it is way past my bedtime (way too much wonk on month end day), so it will have to be on the short side (for me, anyway).

Anyway, today’s hunt was at a new site, an abandoned house.  I rarely do well at these sorts of sites, as they are generally pounded to death, but its a good choice for dry conditions cause the stuff generally isn’t as deep as at a park, and no one cares if the plug dies.

First 9 old coins were wheaties, and there were more if you count the ones I didn’t bother to dig, and not a stinkin’ silver among them.  The oldest appears to be a 1928, tho there may be one in the teens with an unclear date.

Then, I get 3 indians in a row.  Are you kidding me?  I think that is only my second multi indian day, and I know I’ve never gotten 3 in one day.  Of course, I rarely dig mid tones unless the site is old enough to have something good, and since there weren’t many high tones, I had to be content with trying to get a mid tone silver like a half reale or half dime.  When you see the indians, you’ll see why I could care less about them.  Anyway, dated 1900, 1894 (I think), and totally toasted.

Then I finally get a silver, a slam dunk 1942 merc.  Then I get an 11-47, which is almost always a clad quarter, but it was deep and sounded pretty, and it turned out to be an 1918S SLQ.  The date is really hard to make out (in fact, all you can make out is the 8, and you need a loupe), but it really looks like the 8/7 variety under my cheap loupe, and if so, it would be rather rare.  I doubt there is enough definitive evidence to get it authenticated and slabbed, so I will have to be content with almost supermodel again.  Too bad, so damn close.

Then I got 6 more wheaties, and this US pin thing, which is about the size of a nickel, and I think brass or pewter.  I’m not a relic guy, so I have no idea how old it might be.  (I also have no idea how old the site is, except that it shows up on the ’42 aerials).

I was really surprised at the number of older coins at this site; I’m usually lucky if I get a wheatie or two at places like this.

Silver!

Oh, its so nice to see the shiny in the hole again.  As I said last entry, I think 4 days of hunting without scoring a silver coin is my worst streak since Apr 2010.  Prolly much more of that to come, rather than this, but we’ll take it today, won’t we –

This is from last Sunday’s site, which was again in the direction I had to be today.  This has now become an 11 silver site out of nowhere.  Too bad there is only about an hour of terrain left to close it out.  Interesting that today was my worst day at this site.  Sometimes you mis-estimate the potential of sites; fortunately the competition appears to have as well, tho most of last Sunday’s silvers were circumstantial rather than systemic.

Well, I guess half of last week doesn’t really count, but of course if I found silver, it certainly would have counted, wouldn’t it have, so fair is fair?

Anyway, its what to do about the upcoming week, and it may be the case that more silver will be found by staying inside for the week (or month).  What?  Well, the fact of the matter is that there hasn’t been material rain around here since I think June or so, and its not so much that the ground is rock hard everywhere, (which of course is a pain in the ass), but that you lose that inch or two of conductivity from the wet ground.  It seems to me it might be more rational, given my style of gridding, record keeping, and never being inefficient by going over the same section of ground twice, that it might make sense to wait for wet ground.  That is certainly why I tabled the recent cache/7 silver site/wheatie fest, cause wheaties and no silver seem to be a symptom of not being able to reach deep enough for the silvers, and the dry ground can’t help that problem, can it?

I’d love to have a deep, iffy test silver in the ground somewhere, so I could test this rain/damp dirt theory once and for all, to know if it is BS or not. But, I don’t.  I used to keep such a silver, but in 2011, my 52 hunt silver streak was in jeopardy, so I went and dug it up to keep that streak alive (fortunately, it was a silver, and too bad I wasn’t blogging those days).  Oh, and test gardens are BS, IMHO — gotta be a natural silver for these experiments — too bad its so hard, psychologically, to leave one in the ground.

But, I need to know if this wet dirt hypothesis stands the test of science, or is nonsense.  Not likely I’ll know for some time, cause it ain’t gonna rain around here for a while to come. Hopefully, I’ll find something to do this week that isn’t deep silverish, maybe sidewalk strips or something.  We’ll see, but likely a better use of time is chores and research.

Oh, and silver 149 for the year today.  Was hoping for 150 by the end of the quarter, so I could feel an outside shot at 200 for the year, tho, in all fairness, I spent most of this quarter dealing with my running and its injuries,. so I don’t think I had close to 50.  No chance of 50 in this quarter, realistically, unless it rains, or I actually find a reasonable site.  We’ll see.

And yeah, I can’t door knock with the ground this dry.  All the plugs will die.  Some guys will do it; I just don’t think it is right (for some reason, however, I feel no such guilt w.r.t to public property.  Well, of course that “some reason” is called “tragedy of the commons“, as any economist could tell you.  It never ceases to amaze me how the dismal science applies again and again to this hobby).

Rough Week

Tuesday I didn’t have alot of time to hunt, but it was back to the 7 silver/cache site of recent entries to clean up that zone, and hopefully make some progress in the second zone of the site.

Neither ended well.  The edge of the first/cache zone was a steep embankment of a 7 silver zone, and should have yielded 1 or 2 silvers.  It didn’t.  Too bad.  Didn’t even yield a wheatie.  It should have.

Onto the second zone, which I’ve done a couple of fruitless prospecting runs in, but today was transects at various angles, and specific grids, and again bupkis, except for a singe wheatie.  Not even any clad or deep high tones.  And this is a zone I had high hopes for, sort of like the 65 silver site of earlier this year.  Too bad those days just ain’t coming back.

Wednesday was back to the same site to close the second zone, which had produced exactly one wheatie, and zero silvers — more transects and random grids, and I hit a hot zone near yesterday’s wheatie.  All of the sudden I couldn’t swing the coil without hitting a wheatie.  It was unbelievable.  And dammingly frustrating as well, as I couldn’t pull one damn silver, while pulling 13 wheaties from this zone.  Are you kidding me?

That blob on the top is a steelie, only the second one I’ve ever pulled.  They are a rarer find than even seated coins, at least in my experience, and can only be found in a spill with other coins.  Should I be happy about such a rare find?  Go away.

So, what was going on here?  Why such a high density of wheaties (actually the highest I’ve ever seen), in an otherwise dead zone?  Who cares?  If it was silver, I’d care, and write something intelligent; at this point I’m just pissed.

(As it turns out, and of course I composed the entry in my head expecting to find silver, the wheatie zone was a section of green grass, while the dead zone (the vast majority of the site), was brown, cause it hasn’t rained around here since Jefferson was president (which, BTW, adds to the frustration, like digging in cement)

Why was this?  Correlation is not causality, but why so many wheaties under the green grass, and none under the brown grass?  Looking for a causative factor — a) the dirt under the green grass is wetter, and therefore conducts better b) the green grass happened to be under a large tree (it was green cause the tree protected it from the sun), and its always easier to find older coins in shady spots rather than sunny spots (cause less grass, and hence less topsoil, is produced in such zones), c) as it turns out, the green section was near a Victorian era house by the edge of the property, and while it seems unlikely there would be so much spill from this property, especially when there was no spill in similarly situated brown sections, it is certainly possible.  It is also possible the competition was afraid to hunt to close to the property line or did not know where it was.

Who knows?  Who cares?  Does it matter if silver is not produced?  Of course not.  But, I’m always thinking like this, and once in a while, said thinking solves the site, and produces silver in an optimal way.  Too bad it it ended badly this time).

Anyway, after that frustration, its onto the main zone of the park, and its a few more wheaties.  All deep and hard.  A total of 16 consecutive wheatiies without 1 f**king silver coin.  That’s close to a record for me, and given my career ratio of 2.4:1, I feel totally hosed.

So, I table the site.  I think I need to come back after a good, heavy rain.  There should be silver here — all the tells are in, but the bone dry dirt may be hiding them.  Who knows?  Still doesn’t explain the green zone.  I have no explanation for that.  Sometimes you just have to say — “its one of those things”.

Thursday was simply to close out an 11 silver site, which I first struck silver in the fall of 2010, got another at the end of 2012, and got a few more this winter, and this summer.  I didn’t have much time, and just wanted to close out one small zone that remained.  I got a colonial buckle, but nothing else old.  Was a nice site tho, farewell farewell.

Today I had to stay close to home, and had nowhere really to go for a couple of hours, so I did something a bit different — went to a 70s era park where the aerials show it fully completed by 71, and construction starting in 58.  The neighborhood was fully developed in the 58 aerials.  Of course, you ain’t gonna find something old here, but you may snag a barely legal silver or two.

(OTOH, my best find ever, an 1800 draped bust half dime, was found in a park built in the 80s.  The theory here is you have to hit these sites once in a while cause the competition ignores them.  At least that was my theory, and given I found that half dime in 2010, and nothing that good since (and I’d been avoiding such sites), why not?)

Of course, I ended up finding something old, either a 1777 or 1787 King George III copper.  Rather have the barely legal rosie, but here it is, FWIW.

What a treasure.  Some folks actually get excited about digging these.  More power to them.

Well, I think this is my worst week since I got the E-Trac.  Of course, some of it was bad luck, some of it was work constraints restricting how far I could travel, but whatever it was, it sucked.

Maybe next week will be better, we’ll see.

Awkward Silver

Ain’t nothing awkward about that pic, is there baby!

Damn, haven’t had a 5 silver day in forever.  Here’s how it went down.  I don’t hunt much on the weekends, but I had an engagement at noon in a particular town and looked over my database of sites between here and there, and decided on a 4 silver site that I last hunted in late Nov 2011.  Not overly promising, but not closed either.  Figured I’d close it today on the way.

I’d hit most of the zones, but there was one smallish, unpromising zone that I’d never hit, and I started there, at the edge.  10 minutes in: merc.  15 minutes in: merc.  Woohoo, we’re rollin’ baby!  Not much more for a while, but got in this section between an old parking lot and an old roadway, with a huge pine tree, and worked way into and under the pine tree, where the needles are stabbing you, and so forth, and hit the jackpot — a 3 dime spill with a wheatie on the side.  The signal was awkward, and working under the pine tree was awkward, but the pine tree wasn’t there 50 years ago.

The competition did the same research I did, and saw the same 30′s era baseball field I did, but wasn’t willing to get under the awkward pine tree that wasn’t there in the 1930′s, and dig that awkward silver.  Oh well, for them, at least.  We’ll take it, cause silver coins are hard to find.

5 silvers in 50 minutes at that point.  Not bad as these things go, but one an hour, more dispersed, is better, cause its systemic.  Today’s silvers were mostly circumstantial, but at least they are silver.

Out of the awkward zone, and it was clear the competition had gotten there before me.  Too bad, for my hope of ever logging a double digit day again.  But, why can’t these morons finish off a zone?  5 more silvers just a few feet on (but much more awkward), waiting for them.  Leaves me feeling like a scavenger (which, of course, I am, at this advanced stage of the decline.  Its not like I’m the only one with a Minelab around here anymore — too bad, but I still got some technique now and again, don’t I baby!).

So, on and on we go, hoping we’ll get a double digit day (I mean, 5 silvers in 50 minutes; how could you think otherwise?), but all that comes in over the next 2 hours is this sterling dogtag/pendant –

The other side is blank.  I wonder who RFC is.  The thing was damn deep, and looked like a silver Q in the hole.  Too bad it wasn’t.

Anyway, this is now a 9 silver site, with just unpromising zones left to close it out.  No urgency.  The next time I find myself in this direction, I’ll knock it out.  But oh, what a fun hunt for the first 50 minutes.

Here’s the take all shinyed up.  Interesting that the spill contained 2 ’64 rosies and a merc, now that I see the dates.  Total hunt time: 3 hours.

Peace

Not much detecting lately — got out Tuesday to do a field hunt, something I rarely due cause you rarely find anything, and that’s pretty much what happened.

Yesterday got out to the 7 silver site with the cache, and pulled 9 wheaties and not one silver coin.  Really frustrating.  Did find this sterling peace earring, tho,  Thought it was a half dime when I saw it in the dirt at first.  Too bad,

Zone 1 of that site is pretty much done, and zones 2 and 3 gave not given up any good tells on quick prospecting.  They are both huge, but both may be dead.  Looking like a 7 silver site at this point.

Merc & Button

Got out for a Sunday morning hunt today, weather was gorgeous, at a construction site where they are putting up some McMansions where an old house stood.  I generally don’t have all that much luck at these sorts of sites, but I have found a walker, a 2 cent piece, and a handful of bulk silver at similar in the past, so why not?  You never know — a big fish could lurk at such a property.

The problem with this site is that the area near the house is overgrown with grass.  You can kinda swing in it, but you do lose a couple of inches, and you have to swing faster than I would like.  No steady low and slow possible here.  I did do some of that with no luck for about a half hour, but then decided to concentrate on shady areas that had little grass, but, unfortunately, were farther from the house.

Eventually, in a treed area I found a clothespin — that’s a good sign, maybe the clothesline was in this area (but who puts a clothesline in the shade?), and all the sudden I was finding plenty of coins: 8 memorial pennies, and one wheatie.  Are you kidding me?  You won’t even give me a clad quarter?  Where’s the loose change from 100 years ago?

I felt like bagging it, but I did want to hit every shady zone where the grass wasn’t an issue, and I eventually got a flat button.  It was pretty deep too, and I thought it was a copper at first.  I don’t get too excited about these like some folks do, but it least it was a decent tell, and the only old thing I had found.  That gave me the will to keep going, and eventually I nailed a ’44 merc.  Why wasn’t it a seated or bust?  C’mon, I want a big fish.  But we’ll take it.

The FE number never read below 20, and it ranged from 20 to 26.  This is almost always a bulbous ferrous (like a bolt or something), but you gotta dig ‘em, especially an old site, cause sometimes they are see thru silvers.  Sure enough, the threshold had a big null after I recovered it, tho I never saw the iron that was affecting it..

Site seems like its been pounded pretty good, but you never know about these sorts of places.  Between the grass, construction regrading, equipment, new foundations, and so forth, such a large percentage of the old land is lost.  If the grass dies off and withers away, or it is matted down by snow, I might give it another go someday, but the site isn’t high on my priority list going forward.

Cache

Yesterday didn’t go well.  Back to the site of recent entries, and after about an hour an a half, the battery died.  That’s less than 5 hours on a full charge.  Its supposed to last 18 hours.  What’s up with that?  Does that mean I have to buy another one of those overpriced Minelab battery packs?  All I found was a really toasted, non-pic worthy IH, and a wheatie.

Today went a little better, continuing to work the only zone of this park that has given up anything (and its a small section of that zone, for that matter), and I got a deep merc right off the bat.  Nothing beats silver early in the hunt.

About 15 minutes later was a 12-38, 3 inches deep, a little on the big side, which is generally one of three things: a bottlecap, a bottlecap, or a bottlecap.  This time, tho, it was a small cache.

A cache? A spill? Who knows?  But it looks like it was in this small iron box, like a change box or something maybe?  I dunno, so I’m calling it a cache.

Anyway, all that stuff came out of the hole at 3-4 inches. The remaining iron from the box, 2 mercs from the 40s, 4 wheaties from the 30s-40s, and a pair of nickels from the 40s, one of them being a war nickel, so that’s a bonus silver.  Whohoo.  8 coins in all, they just kept on coming, baby.  It was pretty cool.

The E-Trac pretty much nailed it.  I wonder what that mishmash would have sounded like to other machines?

Well, that’s 7 silvers from this site so far, but 3 from the cache were sort of circumstantial, so it still feels like a 4 silver site.  Its pretty big, but only one small section of one zone has given up anything.

Well, first 4 silver day in forever, and I had them all in the first half hour.  Here they are sort of shinied up, as best as possible anyway –

Sweat Baby Sweat

95 degrees. 100% humidity.  For all the whining back in February when it was too cold to exist, but I was pulling 65 silvers from that site at the time, I was in my climatic element today. Sweat was literally dripping everywhere, mixing with dirt, and where I wasn’t muddy, I was totally soaked.  A pleasant image in your mind’s eye for sure.  And the sweat was the only thing that gave even a modicum of dampness to the bone dry dirt, as it hasn’t rained in forever around here.  But, I love it.  I like heat.  Bring it on.  Global warming to the max, baby!  Truth be told, however, I’d rather freeze and be working a 65 silver site than be comfortable and moving from one barely double digit (or less) site to the next.

Anyway, after that ridiculous preamble, onto the detecting.  Back to yesterday’s site, which, unfortunately, shrunk after looking at more maps and aerials — buildings, fill and grade, and so forth making certain zones worthless.

Working off yesterday’s grid tho, which produced a 2 dimes and a ring, I got 2 rings and a dime.  The dime, unlike me, is 20 something (haven’t worked the dirt off yet), but if its a 21, I’ll be sure to post an update.

I was using the stock coil rather than the big unit, as I suggested I might, and noticed no difference in mineralization or noise.  The big unit, as the cards sat, might have been a better choice, as it would have covered the ground faster.  I expected better performance from the stock at this highly mineralized, ferrous infested site, but I was wrong.  Maybe I’m just comfortable with the big unit (when its working, of course), in pretty much any ground at this point.

Couple of Dimes

First time out for a while, except a quick hunt at a volleyball court the other day to look for gold, and more importantly, test the big unit.  Coil was fine for a while, but then started to get wonky.  And this was a sandy volleyball court with no noise at all (and no gold either, as it turned out).

Tried all the usual things like lowering the channel and power cycling, and nothing helped, so I figured it was another big unit gone bad.  Then I disconnected it from the console, and reconnected it, and it was fine, and was fine today.  The connection didn’t seem loose, but that seemed to be the trick.  Go figure.

Today’s site was an older park (at least before the 30s), which I last visited in April, 2010 and was always excited about.  In those days I had a V3, and was quite disappointed in its performance (one of the reasons I went with the E-Trac a month later and then actually started finding silver), tho I did find some sort of religious pendant on that hunt.

This site sort of has a main section, and several out of the box sections.  This time I started in one of the out of the box sections, and hit a silver ring (not stamped), a rosie, and a merc, in the first 90 minutes.  Not bad.

The rosie was at just 2 inches, and the merc and ring were at about 4 inches.  The site is hard, tons of iron, and no real clean TID, which means you have to dig the clad.  Yuck.  It’s a hard site, but fortunately not as hard as the last one, with all that brutal high tone trash.

I look over the site, after the first 90 minutes, and figure it is a 5-25 silver site.  But, as I pressed on, no more silver was to be found, tho I got a couple of good sounding deep clads and some sort of copper toy.

As this section of the site was so hard, I decided the big unit wasn’t the best choice of coils, at least for this section, and figured I’d come back sometime with the stock coil.  I had some time left, so I tried one of the other out of the box sections, which I felt might even be more promising, but I did not find one single coin in about 30 minutes.  It was a much cleaner site, which once again shows that the harder the site is, the better chance you have.

Finally, I went to the main section  for about a half hour, where the V3 didn’t hit much deep, and I was hitting deep clad left and right.  I said to myself, its gotta be here., and at the very end, I got a nice, deep 10-46 which I was certain was a dime or quarter, but it was a huge base metal ring.  Are you kidding me?  Oh well.

Well, this site has promise, as it is on the large side, and has good tells.  OTOH, it appears to have huge dead zones, so its hard to guess where it will come out.  Could be as much as a 10 silver site, but maybe all I’ll get is the 2 from today; we’ll see.

Also, on the downside, the place is far.  45 minutes to get there, and 60 to get home.  Yikes.  I believe 95% of my silvers have been found within 25 minutes from my house (maybe I’ll figure that out someday), and that extra time just cuts into hunting time.  Oh well.

No Silver

I generally don’t like to write about failed hunts (but I at least mention them so people don’t get the idea I get silver every time out), but I’m in a really grumpy mood, and this one hunt was rather remarkable.  And besides, there are only so many ways to write “dug silver today”, and as readers well know, they get more and more bizarre and lame.

Anyway, I got for a rare weekend hunt on Sunday, to an old abandoned mansion site that is slated for demolition to build offices condos or some such.  Its at least 200 years old, and has huge trees, a mowed lawn, a few outbuildings, and so forth.  A dream site really; very similar to the old colonial mansion I was hitting a few months ago where I pulled a dreamy 2 reale, 1875 IH, and a couple of other silvers and coppers (I still have to update my best finds section with those).  The sort of site that has been hunted to death, but if you keep at it, you usually get something, and may even get a big fish.

But, at this site, I did not find one single coin in 3.5 hours of detecting.  Are you kidding me?  Not even a silly zincoln or other clad.  Unbelievable.  And, I believe the site was occupied to at least 2011.  How could a site be so hunted out?  And I tried everything — every paradigm, careful gridding, and so forth.  Never seen that before.  Even at abandoned houses in the woods where there is very little swing area, and it is really tough, I usually snag a wheatie or two.  How could there not be a single coin?  I guess its a good thing that the competition doesn’t bother with the sorts of sites I usually do, which have given up over 1100 silvers.  Go figure.  (And fill and grade weren’t the culprits, as there were plenty of old trees to verify the grade).

I figured maybe my machine or coil was bad.  The only nearby site was an old field which is very sparse in targets, having given up only a 1 reale, old silver ring, and about half a dozen musket balls.  Even in that field, after about an hour, I found a couple of clads.  Machine seemed fine.

One reason I thought the coil might be bad was because, at both sites, I was getting alot of low tone falsing, stuff in the 01-02 range.  This was exactly what happened when the coil went bad the last time.  But, I wasn’t getting that when I held it in the air like I was then.  Must have been something weird at both sites, as it went away at the next one.  One thing I did notice was that as I lowered the channel number. I got less of it.  I had always observed that channel 11 was a bit noisy in this way, but never realised there appeared to be a linear correlation between channel number and noise.  I’m no engineer, but that would imply a linear relation between the frequencies it is listening for (and hence sending), and channel number.  I had always figured that there was no correlation based on the observation that good channel number performance seemed random.  Who knows how these things work?  I certainly don’t, but my noise cancel strategy, articulated elsewhere, does work, so WDIK?

Tuesday I again got to the site of recent entries to close it out, and it was once again miserable.  Its just hard to describe, but pretty much every swing produced a high tone, generally some big trash.  Canslaws, sheet metal, long pieces of metal, copper piping, and so forth.  Never seen even close to this density of this stuff at a park.  Why is it all there?  Why so much copper pipe, for example, in the ground at a park?  And, you have to dig alot of it (in rocky ground no less), cause sometimes it is big silver objects; witness the intact pieces of silverware dug here.

But, I had enough.  It wasn’t fun.  There wasn’t much of the site left, but I closed it out without finishing it off.  5 silver site, all modern, and 3 silverwares, 2 intact.  We’ll take it, cause silver coins are hard to find.

Nailed Some Silver Today

First hunt since last entry.  Sort of on a mini-vacation lately, or, what we like to call a vacation to Chester County.

But, back to that pain in the ass site with tons of high tone trash, rocks, and other annoyances, to try to close it out, and I do a large edge, out of the box section, and I get bupkis.  Then I say I’ll do two grid ranks further into the primary zone, , and, unless I get a good tell, I’m done here, and am closing the site.

But, after mountains and mountains of more high tone trash, all of which I dug, I got one that worked, on the second rank, just before closing the site.  It was a very consistent 01-46 to 01-47, and turned out to be a 1943 Q with a nail on top.  You can even see the ferrous stains on poor George’s head.

(You can also see the nail, which I’ve also included (obviously), cause if I didn’t, the title would be cheesier than usual).

The Q was only 3 inches deep, 100 yards from the parking lot (as is pretty much all of this small park), and 3 feet from a path and 10 feet from a tot lot.  Tons of coils have passed over this coin.  Just goes to show that its the machine, not the man, contrary to all the bullshit you might read elsewhere, (tho I suppose a certain mental tenacity to dig all the high tone trash and keep at it at this brutal site has helped).

So, what this means is that I have to persist at this site and close out all of it, rather than go on to more pleasant pastures.  Its now a 5 silver site, at the high end of original prediction of 3-5.  At most, one more, and its a hard, frustrating, unfun site.  Why am I doing it, who knows? — the prospect of silver draws us on forever, even into irrationality.

So, there’s a bit more.  Dug 9 clad quarters, and 1 clad dime today.  Just goes to show how tough the site is, and frustrates me as to the number of silver dimes that are being missed.  Also, why the 01-46, 01-47 print on the Q?  IMHO, and I’m no engineer, its cause metal is metal, and even in see thru mode, and even in ferrous black out mode, the metal of the nail adds.  Always go by tone, but if you are reading numbers, keep this in mind.

Ok, botched this one, but that’s that and I have to move on and make some sangria for Sunday.  That 2 day lead time is certainly the secret sauce, but it is also such a pain in the ass,

More Silverware

Back to the site of the past few days, and pulled yet another piece of silverware.  This one looks like a butter knife with the end gone missing (who brings a butter knife to a picnic?  I guess whoever brings a stick of butter and those fancy rolls).  If I keep at it, I may yet get a sterling place setting from this site.  Unfortunately, no silver coins or other finds worth noting today.

Just in the silverware, that’s over 55 grams of silver from this place.  That’s like finding about 23 silver dimes.  Sheesh.  And the silverware is just as old, if not older.  I’d rather have 23 experiences than 3.  It just don’t work that way, tho, and on top of that, this butter knife is ugly.  Not like a merc (or 23) in the hole, that’s for sure.

Well, I’ll never figure this site out, but, fortunately, I don’t have to, cause its almost done.  Very weird, to say the least.

Everything but the Supermodel

Those who read me know what an “everything but the girl” hunt is — you do all the right things, pull all the right tells, yet go home silverless.  We’ve all been there,  But, of course, it can be worse.  You do all the right things, pull all the right big fish tells, and go home with a 1962D rosie.  Well, any day with silver is a good day, so who am I to whine?  I got the girl, after all.

But lets roll this and try to make it make sense.  Back to the site of the last couple of entries, expand the grid, and the first target of the day was the ’62D rosie.  Woohoo.  Early silver is special — it means the rest of the hunt is on the house.  It was a hard, ferrous affected silver, but I was fairly sure it was gonna be a silver before I dug it.  We’ll take it.  Nice to reaffirm that dimes are possible at this place.

Next was was yet another deep, big, high tone, a problem that plagues this place, and, coupled with the hard dirt and rocks, makes it possibly the toughest place I’ve ever detected, and, after digging deep for about 15 minutes, out pops a complete sterling silver spoon.  Are you kidding me?  This was 10 feet from the first base line of a baseball field that dates to the 30s.  How did the competition miss it?  Is it cause its deeper than they expect, and then when they get there, if it ain’t coin shaped, they assume it its trash and leave it before identifying it?  Who knows?  Never assume anything.  Follow thru until you’ve identified both the metal and the object, especially if the site is wickedly old.  This is only the second or third complete silver spoon I’ve ever dug, and I’ve never dug one at a normal run of the mill park where you’d expect the competition to have gotten it 20 years ago.

But, there’s more.  More spoonage that is.  First multi-spoon hunt in my career.  Maybe I should track this on the stats page.  The next one came in as a slam dunk silver quarter, and it took me forever to find it, cause there was all this coal like stuff in the hole which kept whacking the PP.  I only got the bowl, but it seems really old.  Tests as silver, but the way the acid worked on it, it looks like coin silver (900 silver), rather than sterling.  That means its prolly in the 200 year old range.  Where’s the handle?  Where’s the 200 year old silver quarter that should have been there?  Where’s the supermodel?  I sort of felt jinxed, working thru this brutal site, to come up with a complete silver spoon, then a 200 year old silver spoon bowl that should have been a silver Q dated 1813.

But, there is actually more.  Yet another miss on the supermodel.  Got a wicked deep iffy high tone, which I was sure was gonna be an affected, old silver Q or half, and turned out to be this old looking key.  Old keys are cool, but this one is kinda lame cause its missing the key part.  Looks like the handle was copper, yet the stem (and presumably the key part), was ferrous.  Who makes a key like this?  Any key experts reading?  The amazing thing about this was that I hit the ferrous part at about 7-8 inches, and it was sticking straight up.  I figured — yet another nail — but I always remove them to see if we can hear the high tone better afterwards, and out comes the copper handle, which must have been at 10-11 inches.  Amazing the E-Trac heard that thru the mineralized ground, thru the ferrous stem, and onto the high tone handle at 10 inches.  Unbelievable.  Would have been more unbelievable if it were a bust quarter.  Where’s the supermodel?  That second spoon bowl and key seem really old.  Oh well.

My wife says the key is really cool.  I agree.  Too bad about the business end being ferrous.

Yet Another Q

Back to yesterday’s site.  This is the sort of site where you really have to bring your A game.  There’s trash.  There’s big trash.  There’s brutal mineralization.  The ground is hard.  The ground is rocky.  There’s alot of deep high tone trash that sounds to die for, until its some nameless copper widget 10 inches deep, which burns you out digging for it (but you dig anyway, cause it could be a seated half or something, given how old the area is).  The E-Trac sounds like a bad heavy metal band playing out of key on cheap equipment.  Brutal.

I don’t know if I have my A game at this place, but I did find 2 wheaties in the first 15 minutes, and another Q within an hour.  Not bad.  The Q was sort of hard, between some trash and in highly mineralized ground.  A double whammy.  Saw a bit of 9-44 on my screen, but its more the tone that gave it away.  That sweet sound rarely lies, even when the numbers do.

It was 7 inches deep and fairly hard.  I figured I’d never find a dime under these conditions at this place, and would have to be content with quarters.  And I didn’t find a single clad dime in 3.5 hours of hunting (I don’t dig shallow coins), but I did manage to find a merc right at the end of the hunt.

It was also a weird signal, one of these 18-46, 20-46 sorts of things which almost always are bulbous ferrous objects, but you gotta dig all of these, cause there is absolutely know way to know (at least that I’m aware of), to tell the difference between the bulbous ferrous object and a deep silver in iron that the E-Trac sees in “see thru mode” (if you know the answer, please post).  Sure enough, after I pulled the merc and closed the hole, nothing but null.  It was about 5.5 inches deep.

Its frustrating to know that there are more dimes here, but I can’t see them for technical reasons.  I’m tempted to swap out the big unit for the pro coil so see if it cuts down on the mineralization, but I like the way you can just mow thru a site with the big unit.  I’m torn on this one.

Another Quarter

God it was nice to get out today, even if only for a couple of hours.  First time I got out since last entry, aside from one short hunt last week where I tried to finish off that site.  The only area of that site left is the area around the tot lot, and it is always crawling with tots.  Sheesh, don’t those tots know that tot lots and the areas around them are for detectorists?  I was gonna blow the area off, but as I got closer to the tot lot, I was hitting wheaties, so I’ll have to come back in cold weather when no one is there.  Could be the ever-present tots have defended the area well, tho in all honesty I don’t expect to find anything, but I like to close off sites.  Being anal once got me a barber half, so I always do it.

Today’s site was a brand new site, a small park I noticed when driving from PT to the last place.  The site sounded awful; the E-Trac clearly did not like being there, but I did manage to pull a Q after about a half hour or so.  2 deep bottlecaps and a deep clad penny were also nice tells before I found it.

The problem with the site is that the ground is hard and rocky, and the mineralization is brutal.  But, getting a Q on your first visit is a good omen.  I also got 2 or 3 wheates, and those beautiful deep bottlecaps, so that’s all good.  I’m betting a 3-5 silver site at this point, we’ll see.  There might be a problem getting dimes due to the mineralization, tho I did get a couple of deep clad ones.

The nice thing about the site that it is adjacent to a very old church, and some very old houses.  The hope is a big fish spillover from those, or even meeting an owner.  We’ll see.

Its interesting that I’ve gotten more Q’s than dimes lately, and ‘ve been thinking about that.  Getting a Q is like getting 2 dimes plus, right?  But I was thinking I’d prefer a 2 dime hunt to a 1 Q hunt.  Not rational, says the economist.  Just goes to show that its about the experience, not the value, and economists tend to lose sight of these intangibles when doing their analysis.   Ok, enough geekspeak, but another question is: which is better: a 5 dime hunt, or a half dollar hunt.  This is tougher, but again I may come down on the side of the 5 dimes.  The rarity of finding half dollars jacks that experience factor up, but 5 silver experiences in a single day are pretty special — in fact, its greater than the sum of each experience.  Not that I ever expect that experience again.  Been a long time, sadly.

In other news, I got yet another e-mail about so and so wanting to sponsor me.  Are these people for real?  I wonder if they actually read the site.  Who knows?  But, I can’t figure out what’s in it for them (economists always look for the incentive motive of everyone; that’s why we are such a cynical lot (or, maybe born cynics just become economists)).  My guess is that it is along the lines of give me your bank routing # to deposit the funds.  I’m tempted to do it, just to find out.  Curiosity certainly killed the cat, but cats also have nine lives, so we’ll see.  (BTW, and I just noticed this, “curiosity” is a curious word.  The morphology of the “ity” ending, which is common enough to morph an adjective to a noun, nails that “u”.  I never knew that until the spell checker got in my face.  Its rare for morphology to nail an inner letter.  Cool.  I love playing with words (“tendon” and “tendinitis” is my favorite example of this; and people who say English spelling is easy and not arbitrary are morons).

Speaking of wordplay, I haven’t done much metal detecting lately cause I’ve been working 24×7 the past few days on this letterboxing clue.  I don’t think people realise how long these things take to put together.  Just the artwork for that grid is intense labor, not to mention the website coding (I still do this by hand using a text editor using pretty much all deprecated html codes, and I guess it shows.  I remember when I did the blog like that.  Yikes.  I guess I need to break down and get a CMS, but who as the time?).  And none of that stuff even counts the actual content, and putting those puzzles together is hard (but that’s fun, I might do some more of them, cause wordplay is fun).  And I didn’t even do the stamp carving for this project.  Prolly my last letterboxing clue.  The dude I did it for didn’t even bother to thank me (tho I suppose he may someday, I guess), but some different dude did drop $10 in my PayPal today.  Thanks!  Not sure if it was for the blog or the boxes, but cool nonetheless.

Yikes.  Way too much about non-metal detecting topics.  That’s just to scare the prospective sponsors away and baffle the search engines.  But, maybe if I actually start metal detecting again, we’ll be on topic going forward.  We’ll see.

Silver and Sangria

Now, that’s a title that works, I’d say.

Anyway, back to the site from a couple of days ago (and, the only site I’ve worked for the last over a month), where I pulled a largie and a silver ring on that day, to clean up some loose ends, and, hopefully close the site, and I managed to pull two more silver coins.  Not bad.  And for all I write about hunting the “out of the box sections”, these coins were more or less in the “in the box section”.  Go figure.  Of course, I always leave these sections for last, cause they are always hunted out; so sometimes better to be lucky than good.  We’ll take ‘em tho, cause silver coins are hard to find.

Its been an interesting site, but, outside of about an hour of terrain I didn’t get to today, its closed.  50′s era park, giving up 11 silvers (4 of them quarters), and 2 large coppers.  The first one was an SLQ found in November, 2010, then I didn’t get back there ’til the end of 2012/beginning of this year, cause it was so dead on that SLQ hunt, but over those few hunts at the beginning of this year, I managed to squeeze out 5 silvers, then tabled the site.

Went back again this summer cause errands and life put me in that area (doctor’s appt, needed a low target site, and it turns out its also near my PT place), and I got 5 more.  Cool.  (I have no idea why I am writing all this crap; I guess its just this feeling that these silvers found me, cause I never expected any silvers at this place, cause its so dead — I guess the point is — keep at it).

Anyway, onto the sangria.  People have asked me for my sangria recipe, so I put it online.  Its good stuff (if you like making and drinking sangria).

Copper and Silver Ring

Got out for the first time since the last entry; between parties, puzzles, and physical therapy, all things I’m really bad at (tho McBrae’s sangria went over pretty well yesterday; when guest are eating the sangria fruit, you know you nailed it, time to put the recipe online), it was nice to get out and do something I am good at.  And, yes, metal detecting is something you can actually be good at, which is a bit surprising, when you think about it.

Back to the park from the last 2 entries, trying to close it out, into the out of the box section, and it was the ultimate everything but the girl hunt, all the good tells, and even scored an 1810 largie and a silver ring.  But no silver coins.  The largie is in decent shape as these things go around here — full liberty and full date, tho of course a bit abused.

The coin was only 3 inches deep, and just 4 feet from the property line of a 50s era house.  I think my knowledge of the park boundaries, and the private property boundaries have allowed me to squeeze a couple more keepers out of this site.  The recent silver Q’s were in the same paradigm, and it is not a totally obvious paradigm, as the density compared to the rest of the site proves.

Only my 5th copper of the year, so it has been a down year in that dept (not to mention the silver dept, of course), but, I really haven’t detected as much this year.  Maybe as I get past commitments, crises, and my injuries, I’ll be able to do more going forward.  We’ll see.

Another Silver Q

Oh my, what a past 24 hours.  Lets try to drop something that doesn’t require a morning edit.  Not that hard, here goes –

Back to the site from yesterday, and the hunt before, and pulled another silver Q not too far from yesterday’s, as well as 4 wheaties and a clad dime.  6 coins in 2 hours before a PT appointment to fix my broken body.   We’ll take it.  Gee, that wasn’t so hard, was it?  Surprised that this turned out to be a 9 silver site; and when its closed, I hope I have the time and memory to blog why I think this site is interesting.  We’ll see.

Yeah, I don’t know the date of this one either, but who cares, it works for me.  Its silver.

And yeah, I’m doing the morning edit now.  No one needs to read it.  On an unrelated note, Lagwagon’s Never Stops may have finally climbed my personal charts to be the best song ever recorded.  And, that’s hard, breaking thru that box of Maiden at the top.  These changes are not made lightly, and, in fact, are rarely made at all.  Download the sound.

Back on the Silver Train

Got out today was the first hunt since 7/12.  Back to the park of the last entry, which was a 7 silver park, and gave up that large, old, spoon. In the out of the box section.  Interesting that, after the long layoff, the machine sounded a bit weird, and I did not find a single coin in the first hour of detecting, but it is a low density site, and I did find some nice deep high tone junk, which is always nice.    Shifted to a different paradigm in the out of the box section (sort of out of the box in the out of the box, if all those words work), and found 5 deep 60′s memorials.

While 5 cents is nothing to blog about, that is such a killer tell, and I was reward with the goodies, a deep silver Q.  Since the last entry was an everything but the girl hunt, we’ll take it; the science indicated it should be there, and there it was.

Oh, and I don’t even know the date.  40s something is all I know.  Silver is all I know.  What else do you need to know?.

Big Spoon and Bigger Disappointment

Ok, this one ain’t gonna end well, but lets roll it.

Yesterday went back to the sparse site which produced the smooth ’29 merc the other day to try to close it out, by working an out of the box field section (and, in a future entry, I’ll explain why this section is uniquely out of the box, and likely not previously detected hard, but that ain’t happening tonite).

Bottom line, dropped more clad and wheaties on a run rate basis than anywhere previously in the primary section of the site, and, further, got a nice deep 12-43 which I figured could end well as an exotic silver or copper, and spent 20 minutes hacking at it, and by the time I was done, it was so deep I was speaking Chinese when I recovered it (which, of course, is easier to do than learn Euskara, which, my really old loyal readers know, I can both read and write, but not speak, but more on that later).

And, what the eff was it?  A goddamn 8.5 inch long copper spoon.  Whohoo.  Here it is –

This thing’s effing old.  Prolly 2 to 300 years old.  Are you kidding me?  Who uses copper spoons?  And yes, I’d rather pull the proverbial 64 rosie than this nonsense.  And my wife agrees.  She’s in shock when I say others get excited about pulling this trash.  She says they’re poseurs who can’t pull silver and wish to remain relevant (fortunately, I don’t have that problem (in many dimensions)).  I make no judgements on what makes other people happy, but only point that I’m a poseur who pulled everything but the girl on this day; all good tells, and nothing deep and shiny, and am posting said 200 year old spoon.  And so it goes.

But, as always, there’s more.  Much more, and its all bad.  In this case, a self-diagnosis of a stress fracture of one of the small bones in my #2 toe (that’ the one next to the big toe, as if it matters).  This is a big deal if you plan to run a marathon in the next two weeks (as I do).

As this is a metal detecting blog, I ain’t gonna spend too much time on medical issues, but its still my effing blog, and their ain’t no goddam sponsors, so I can say whatever I want, and that is, I’m pissed and disappointed.  I’ve worked hard to train for this marathon, and, broken bone or not, I’m gonna start it and I’m gonna finish it.  But, what does all this mean?

First, self diagnosis is a useful skill.  If you can teach yourself to competently read and write Euskara, as well as dozens of other disciplines, you certainly have a chance to teach yourself basic podiatry and other medicine (but, it is alot of work, and kept me quite busy over the last week).  Its more or less simple (well, complicated, actually) Newtonian physics, but Newtonian physics is still tractable to normal people (unlike quantum and particle, which are a bit more of a challenge, and much more useless).  Unlike, of course the coming (and intractable) train wreck known as Obamacare.  Unfortunately, under the latter, self diagnosis and self administration of medicine may be the only way to get along in that post apocalyptic medical world (of course, I don’t personally recommend self diagnosis and administration of medicine; always see an MD if you are sick; hopefully Obamacare will allow you to).

Second., due to my injury, its over for metal detecting (and metal detecting blogs), at least for now.  No stress on the foot.  So, unless I manage to get thru a long run with zero instances of pain in my broken toe (and that’s possible, as I’ve rigged up some mechanical solutions, but unlikely), or find a bust dollar in the coinstar machine or are otherwise inspired, their ain’t gonna be no more entries here for a while.  Prolly a good thing, don’t cha think?

Merc This Morning

Got out for about 2.5 hours this morning, to a 50s park I was hitting early in the year, and hit a couple of weeks ago, and was skunked.  It was a six silver site (now 7), and I just wanted one final hunt to clean up some loose edges, and mark it “closed” in the db, and I also wanted a site with very few targets to minimize the stress on my knees and feet.

Its still dead, but I did muster a 1929 merc and a 1920 wheatie, and just 4 clads.  One of the clads was a zincoln at 7 inches.  Are you kidding me?  It was in with a dime, and it sounded like a 12-38.  Since I found a copper at this park, I figured why not dig it?  Boy I was pissed.

The merc was right on the edge of the site about a foot into the woods in some tall grass.  Only 3 inches deep, and came in as a 12-44.  Sounded good tho, tho I really expected to be a penny.  I was quite surprised.

So, we have a zincoln at 7 inches, and a merc at 3 inches.  Coins usually sink further in the sunny, grassy area, than the wooded areas.

Nice to See Silver

Just a ’62 rosie this morning, but we’ll take it.  This, from a new site for me, a school from the 40s or 50s.  Got it within the first 15 minutes of hunting, which seemed like a good sign, but the site was otherwise dead.  Just 4 clad coins, and no wheaties or other good tells.  Site is huge, but the ground is rocky and hard (despite a bit of recent rain), so I may table it for a while (but, since it is a school, will only be able to hunt it in the summer, so we’ll see).

I haven’t seen a silver coin come out of the dirt since 6/25, before today.  I haven’t gotten out much at all, tho.  Only three hunts since the starflake entry, and one was very brief due to rain.  All were at the starflake/woods trifecta site, kicking around this old barn or stable type building that looks at least 200 years old.  Hunted out, unfortunately, as I feared due to the really shallow rock, but you can always hope to get lucky.  Did get a couple really deep copper relics in a couple of spots, and 3 shallow wheaties, so it was possible.

Too much rain, family, work, holiday, and marathon training to get out much, which is how I imagine it will be for a while.  Detecting and marathon training don’t mix, as detecting is so hard on your knees, and you run the risk of injury.  And running 20 miles in our heat and humidity leaves you to shot to detect.

So that’s that.  May get out for an hour this afternoon tho, we’ll see.

Silver Starflake

Thursday was a train wreck, 3 hours of bupkis at a park I was working the beginning of the year.  Its a 6 silver site, (plus one copper), but it is just so dead.  Pulled 73 cents in clad in all that time (and I dug most of it; usually I get 2-3 bucks only digging the quarters and what I get by mistake in that time).  Could not even muster a wheatie from the place.  The only reason I went is cause I had an appointment in that area, and I do want to finish the site eventually, but it is just so damn boring.  So, the hunt snapped a short silver streak, I think.

Friday (today; yeah I know its dated Saturday; we get the morning edit and first draft all in one this time), I went back to the woods trifecta place to finish off the patch of woods, and explore other parts of the site more.

Man I got a nice beautiful hit in this patch of poison ivy (and I figured this entry would be titled “what we do for silver”), but, after spending quite a bit of time weeding it out (I’m really allergic, and so much for “leave no trace” ethics”), and then working thru the roots (which also contain the allergen, I believe), the damn thing was a memorial penny.  Are you kidding me?  I was pissed; who wouldn’t be?  But what detectorist would have passed on the signal?

Anyway, the rest of the woods gave up plenty of everything, including more bottlecaps, except, of course, more silver.  One of those “everything but the girl” sort of hunts.  No quarters again, tho.  Weird.

So, off to explore the rest of the site, specifically the grassy area near these ancient trees and a very old building, which of course is gonna be hunted out — the only thing going for it is that it is on the large side, and that can sometimes defend a site.

I started at the very edge, like I almost always do now, and did get an old bottlecap, which is nice, but just not much of anything else.  This section seemed real rocky, meaning less sinking than usual, and thus easier to hunt out.

Only one high tone other than the bottlecap, and it turned out to be this silver starflake (that’s what I call it, cause it reminds me of a symbol in a game I wrote that my wife likes, and that’s what we call it).

I dunno what it is.  I do know that it is about the size of a quarter, and is 8.25 grams of silver.  Its not a broach or a pendant, cause there is a broken shank on the back, almost like a button.  I reckon its rather old, cause it is not stamped (meaning its older than 1905 or so). It was only a couple inches deep, but it was in rock, so it could have been dropped in the 1800s, or not that long ago for all I know, but I imagine that it was in the dirt for a while as it took quite a bit of cleaning.

My wife thinks its really cool.  I say melt it if silver prices ever rebound.  Since I reckon that is many years away, we have a while to fight about it (she wants to make it into a necklace or use it in our Wiz-War games somehow, maybe we will).  The way I look at it, it could just have easily been a bust or seated quarter.  Another big fish that got away.

Anyway, here’s the back of the thing –

But, there’s more.  Just a quick link to a useful web site this time, that I think is cool, anyway.  If you are ever detecting, and want to know how old particular trees are (and I always find myself wanting this info, don’t you?), use the formula on this site.  I don’t know how accurate it is, but it seems better than guessing, doesn’t it?   If I don’t know the species, I just use 4.5.  If the tree is free-standing in a park, rather than the woods, I divide by 1.5 to compensate for the fact that they are better tended and have less competition.

Again, didn’t find any silver coins (oh well), but did see this really massive terrapin ambling along.  I don’t see too many of those in the wild, so that was kinda cool. (Too bad I don’t carry a camera or a phone).

Woods Trifecta

First hunt since last week, and went back to the place I called “the Plantation” in the last entry, where I found a merc last Wed or Thu.  Didn’t have much hope for the site, but a huge 2-300 year old estate recently becoming a park has some promise.  And besides, it was hot.  92 and humid.  Perfect.  We whine all winter about sub 70 temps; at least we rejoice when it is hot.  Bring it on.  Jack it to triple digits.  While the competition melts, the silver is mine.

Anyway, the problem with this site is that there are huge trees everywhere, and they are old and big, which means you can’t see bupkis on the aerials, so you have to kinda try to figure stuff out on the ground.  Last time I was here I just gridded out near the parking lot and found a merc, cause there wasn’t much else to do, especially since the whole place was overrun with kids, but today the kids were home out of the heat playing video games and whatnot, and the place was mine.

To my mind, the most promising place was a small patch of woods between one of the old buildings, and by an old pond.  What struck me about the woods was there were quite a few old growth trees consistent with others in the grassy areas of the site, and a lot of smaller trees, but no mid range trees.  Bingo.  Had to be a grassy area in the silver area, with nice slope right by the pond with good exposure and good shade trees.  Had to be where they hung out, and enough out of the box that it wasn’t hunted to death.

First target, 1940 nickel, one inch,  1970 penny, one inch.  1955 wheatie, one inch.  Are you kidding me?  Three good tells in 15 minutes.  I was in business.  Not only that, I was getting a lot of bottlecaps.  Bottlecaps may even be better than silver, cause its not about finding silver, its about finding silver sites, and when I find bottlecaps like this, it always ends well.

Oh my, that is a beautiful sight, and it doesn’t count the ones I left cause they were in roots or the ones that were bloody obvious (tip: use “sizing pinpointing” on the E-Trac to help make them bloody obvious).  (And of course we know how it ends, cause the title gives it away — if we did edits, we’d change the title to “Bottlecap Fest”, and this entry would actually really work, but I love posts with “trifecta” in the title, so here we are).

Anyway, soon after, a 12-46 which was obviously a silver, and out pops the rosie at 1 to 2 inches.  A little later on, a beautiful 12-45 to 47, and out pops a barber dime at three inches (it appears I scratched it, but I don’t remember doing so; was in a pile of roots).  Where’s the seated?; this place is old, and I actually solved it, for once.   Looking for the trifecta — give me a seated or a merc.  Near the end of the hunt, a 12-44 at 1 inch that was most certainly going to be a clad dime, and no one would have dug it in the grassy area, but stuff doesn’t sink in the woods (and there are reasons for this, maybe fodder for another day); at an old site in the woods, you dig everything, and was shocked to see the silver rim in the hole, and a 1943 merc (would have rather seen an older merc).  Why so low and sounding like clad?  — cause of the tarnish, not so apparent on the front, but brutal on the back.

But there’s more, at least I think there is, lets see if the bad stream of consciousness produces it.  The coins are ugly.  Coins in the woods tend to come out that way.  It must be the sap in the leaves, or something.  The reverse of that merc is a train wreck.

Also, its been said many times that barber dimes come in low, like 12-41 to 12-42.  Not always true, especially not in the woods.  Remember, TID is also a function of depth (the deeper, the lower), mineralization (the worse, the lower, especially at depth, as before), thinness (remember the expression “one thin dime”, may have been coined in the barber era, and may apply), and of course patina (more tarnish, lower TID).  I’m not sure why I wrote this paragraph, but no doubt there is a reason,  Maybe to confuse the search bots, or something.

But, what else?  Mosquitoes.  This was intended to be a whine free post (who could whine when pulling a trifecta?), but the mosquitoes were brutal.  And they were smart too, they only seemed to attack from the back, not from the front where you could see them and kill them.  Darwinism at work, for sure — the front attackers were killed by my predecessors for sure.  Now, Chester County isn’t known for mosquitoes, but this place was brutal, at least in the woods.  These silvers were well earned.

What else?  My assessment of this wooded section of the site is that it likely has never been hunted before.  Never seen so many bottlecaps and silvers in such a small area (50 by 25 feet), in a putative low density site (not a park in the silver era).  But, no quarters (clad or otherwise, either).  So, someone may have been thru, just someone without A class skill.  Just goes to show that its hard to grid out a section of woods, but, if you are meticulous (and what are the odds I spelled that one right on the first try?), you can get some.  Meticulous gridding when you’ve got good tells, no matter how difficult the terrain, is always the answer.

As for this site, the rest of the wooded section is to be tougher, given greenbriar and other annoyances, and it is rather small.  But, given how lightly the site appears to have been worked, if I don’t get a big fish in the greenbriar, I may have an outside shot at one in the grassy area.  We’ll see.

Total hunt time, 2 hours and 3 silvers.  We’ll take it.  But, there’s even more, but I think we’ve all been through enough of BSoCW for one day.  At least I actually finally nailed one.

Oh, and I now remember at least some of the “there’s more”.  The barber was silver #122 on the year, which is a milestone.  That’s how many I pulled in my first year with the E-Trac.  So, at least the decline isn’t so brutal yet to make this my worst ever year in my E-Trac era.

Silver (unedited)

I guess that’s a reasonable title, who knows?  To me, I think its sad when the focus is more on the bad stream of consciousness writing (and the editing or lack thereof), than the actual metal detecting (cause, it is, after all, a “metal detecting blog”, rather than a “bad stream of consciousness writing blog” (and believe me, there are a bzillion of the latter out there, cause bad words strung together by every moron with a browser and an internet connection are easy to find, but very few of the former, cause finding silver coins (at least like I do once in a while (or, more accurately, more than once and a while), remains hard).   That said, lets roll it.  (Morning edits are dead (which, of course, means we pre-edit at this stage (too bad for those who understood what was going on, and for those of us who really enjoy spewing bad stream of consciousness writing while calling it something else),  If this don’t scare ‘em away, nothing will)).

So. lets not talk about metal detecting at all, but last night’s concert.  Awesome baby!  Brother at a house concert, full band, tho Dalbo didn’t have a full kit.  Its sort of like one of your favorite bands playing in your living room, which is exactly what it was, except it was someone else’s living room (but what does that matter?, so long as the band is 3 inches away).  Are you kidding me?  A house concert where you can just sit there and talk to the band, and Angus [Brother frontman] says he likes your wife’s brownies (and, BTW, said brownies are awesome).

But, there’s more.  There always is in these bad stream of consciousness (non) edits.  Shelley from Barleyjuice showed up, and jammed on a few songs.  Are you kidding me? And it was awesome and unrehearsed and unexpected (or unexpected and unrehearsed and awesome, take your pick; I only add this parenthetical cause I’m blocked while I think what to drivel next).  When Angus looks at her, and simply said, “we’re in B minor”, and she picked up the fiddle and nailed the accompaniment (or lead, at times), it was too awesome to behold.  And what was also cool was to get a Facebook like from Shelley herself when I commented on the concert.  How cool is that?

But, there’s even more (and we haven’t even gotten to the silver yet).  Jacquie from Albannach was there as well.  Are you kidding me?  For those that don’t know (which, I suppose, is pretty much everyone reading this), Albannach is strictly instrumental (four percussionists and bagpipes (are you kidding me?)), but Jacquie delivered a wonderful vocal performance at this concert with Brother backing her.  Unbelievable.  My Celtic band trifecta — Brother, Barleyjuice, and Albannach, all in one place where you could talk to them about running marathons, brownies, and this and that.  How cool is that?

If you are reading this tonight (and no doubt you are, but if tonite is the night of Midsummer’s, there is still time to get to the Celtic Fling in Lebanon County and at least check out Brother and Albannach (the Juice is in Ohio this weekend, what’s with that?).  I assure it will  totally worth your while (and I have no sponsorships with any entities mentioned herein — only assholes do that — my likes are all from my heart, with the hopes that others will like them as well, with no evidence or expectations of bad experiences).  Both of those bands have a totally unique sound and will be unlike anything you have heard.

So, if we still did morning edits, which we don’t anymore, the preceding bad stream of consciousness of course would have hit the cutting room floor faster than a bad sponsorship deal (which, amazing, I again received, but its nothing material, and again doesn’t understand what actually goes on here), so, finally, its onto the silver (unedited).

I didn’t have much time to metal detect this week, as I spent time time with my son, but, since he sleeps late, I was able to slip out in the mornings for a couple hours, after work was done.

6/18 (Tue) didn’t go so well.  Back to the 8 silver site of recent entries, expanding the grid, and coming up with bupkis.  It was a shortened hunt, however, due to torrential rain.

6/19 (Wed) went a bit better.  Circumstance required me to go to a different site, a blind site that was in my database of prospective sites, but which I knew very little about.  New park on an old site that was once a plantation (I hate that word, but that’s just what it was).  Old trees, old grass, old dirt, old structures, old coins waiting for me, old part of the county, old Scotch waiting for me when I get home with my silver, but, unfortunately, mountains of really young kids running this way and that way in the hot part of the site near the old this and the old that.

So, I just start gridding out the section next to the parking lot, and hit a merc, as my first target, in the first 5 minutes.  Are you kidding me?  Looked like a killer site, but the next two hours, unfortunately, produced bupkis.  Site has potential, however, for the big fish.  Modern park on 300 year old site — density and patience will be the keywords.  Will hit it again sometime.

6/20 (Thu) went back to the intended site for yesterday (the 8 silver site), and pulled a couple more dimes.  Whohoo!  Too bad there isn’t an interesting story here.  There just isn’t, sorry (as if the the stories are interesting, but at least there is something lyrical and primal about stream of consciousness writing).

6/21 (Fri) may produce an interesting story, we’ll see.  Back to the site of all recent entries (except 6/19), to close the site, gridding out the final zones.

First, I keep getting a crap channel (7).  I’ve found over [some number, which seems like alot] silvers, but never found one on channel 7.  I get fed up that the damn thing keeps giving me channel 7, and of course decide to change it, and notice all my other settings are whacked.  I got ground neutral, trash density low, and other nonsense.  What the eff is happening?  Has my machine been possessed and changed all the settings?  Turns out what was happening was that my machine was still in the beach program from when I was testing it for the Myrtle Beach trip.  I’d been hunting that way all week, with no difference in performance or silver run rate.

Of course, this isn’t too surprising, cause I don’t think these settings matter too much.  I think people get too hung up on E-Trac settings, but, IMHO, there are only a couple that matter.  Number 1: channel.  Number 2: channel.  Number 3: channel.  BTW, did I mention the importance of the channel setting?  Beyond that, auto/manual matters (run man 26+), and pattern matters (run white to FE 27 at least and be prepared to go into quickmask all white for those 35-50 silvers; tho I’ve noticed less of them with the big unit).  My tests in the past (and my experience today), suggest that most of the other settings don’t really matter (tho see-thru mode (“trash high”), has in previous entries been suggested as a good idea).

So, today, got a massive silver ring (hard to speculate what appendage this monster was intended for, but it is way too big for my fat, stubby fingers), and a silver Q.  Started the site with a silver Q, and ended with one.  9 dimes in between.  Farewell, farewell.

11 silver site, not bad for a small park.  I rarely have luck at these sorts of small sites.  Since I won’t be back, I’ll show the site for the competition, and where the silvers were.  Not sure this will be interesting or helpful, but why not?  No real pattern to it, sadly, and in fact, no silvers in the northeast section, where I spent pretty much all of the first day, and was saved by the SLQ near first base.  Had I not found that, I may have given up on the site, and missed out on some modern silvers (too bad, as the site is really old, and had the potential for seated silver.  Oldest coin I found was a 1911 wheatie).

So, I think we nailed this one.  But, more importantly, demonstrated why the morning edits, in general, are necessary.  Be all that as it may, my training for a marathon is still my primary hobby at this point, so not sure how frequently the silver will be coming in (and, hence the entries).

 

Three More Dimes

Haven’t been out since 6/6 when I found 4 mercs (family vacation in Myrtle Beach, took the detector, but I’ve never been much of a fan of beach hunting, and besides, laser tag and miin golf are more fun).

Anyway, back to that same park again to try to finish it off, and pulled two more mercs and a rosie.  The first merc was in some sort of iffy area that looked like it had been excavated in the recent past; you never know whether or not to blow these areas off.  Good thing I gave it a go, as it was rather shallow and a slam dunk.  The second merc was on the very edge of the site, right next to a metal fence, and the rosie was deep and on its side.  All kinda lucky silvers, really, but we’ll take ‘em.

Looks like another day or two to finish this place off.  Not sure when that will be; maybe this week, maybe not.  Never saw this small park as an 8 silver park and counting, and never expected to get so many dimes, but, fortunately, the mineralization cleared up a bit when moving from the older edges of the site to the middle, which I believe was filled and graded in the ’40s.

And, in completely unrelated happenings, saw Barleyjuice on the way home from MB at this cool theater in Wilmington (DE) called The Queen.  If you’ve never seen a concert there, check it out.  Excellent venue with excellent sound.  My wife and I agree that is the best the Juice have ever sounded.  This week will be a house concert with Brother, and then Albannach and Brother again (as well as countless other bands), at the Celtic Fling in Lebanon County.  My trifecta of obscure Celtic bands, all in the same week.  Awesome baby!  Too bad we can’t get Dropkick Murphys and make it a grand slam, tho they are no longer obscure, of course.  (And now Celtic Fling is reportedly selling beer by the growler in addition to the glass as in the past  Are you kidding me?  Should be a good time :) ).

Merc Fest Baby

Ok, so, there’s alot goin’ on here, more than you could know.  Forum morons, other morons, this, that, you get it, but lets just drop the silver and try to keep it somewhat brief (yeah right).

Back to the site from about a week ago that gave me a SLQ, for my first hunt in a while (aside from a 2 hour hunt at the same site on Tuesday that gave up bupkis).  Going back to sites that give up SLQ’s always seems like a good idea, doesn’t it?  Pulled 4 mercs and a sterling Cub Scout ring at this site today.  Are you kidding me?  And this was after hour upon hour of droning threshold and shallow clad, punctuated by the occasional deep wheatie.  In fact, 6 deep wheaties before anything that even resembled shiny showed itself.  I was ready to give up.

But, I didn’t.  Why to I seem inclined to spin some particularly aggressive Motorhead at this juncture?  Cause it would work.  But I didn’t (give up of course, nor did I spin the Motorhead, when there are actually better options), when the tells keep coming, you keep swinging.  Some say if you keep getting wheaties, you will eventually get silvers.  This is what we call a “just so” story in the academic literature; something that sounds true, but is not supported by evidence (economists sometimes call it “gambler’s fallacy” as well, but that’s not accurate cause there is a correlation between wheaties and silvers.  The fallacy is that many falsely belief that correlation is causality) . Anyway, many times getting the wheaties is nice, but doesn’t lead to silvers, just more wheaties.  Been in that boat more times than I care to relate (and it is a skill in and of itself to read a site as cherrypicked like that).  But, today it did, that is, lead to more silvers.  Woohoo!  We’ll take ‘em all, cause silver coins are hard to find.

Oh, and I receive an e-mail claiming that so-and-so want to sponsor me.  Are you kidding me?  (In all likelyhood, I imagine it is a spam or a prank, but it makes good rant material at the end of a rough week).  Not only am I in semi retirement mode from this hobby, at least for the summer; once you succumb to sponsorship, your objectivity, spirit, clear thinking, and all other sorts of words that I could articulate now, but don’t feel like, are compromised,  Are you kidding me?  I’ve seen others compromised by it, so it won’t happen here, not that the prospect is all that likely in the first place.

Oh, there’s more, much more.  But, my son’s school year ends tomorrow.  How much silver will I find this summer?   Hopefully alot, but prolly not as much as in the spring and (prospectively) in the fall.  If I find 10 silver coins between now and September, I will be quite happy (and if I update weekly between now and September, I might even be happier, but don’t count on it).  I can’t except a sponsor and be on the hook to post more and/or hunt more than I feel like.

So, that’s that, a good hunt breaking up a really bad week.  We’ll take it.  And yeah, that last line had to go.  BTW, rather than think of things as morning edits, think of the original posts as nighttime drafts that just happen to be made public :)

SLQ Yessterday

As expected, haven’t got out much lately.  A couple shorter hunts at an old site, trying to squeeze a couple more out, but got just a couple of wheaties.  It was a disappointment cause I’ve gotten a bit of barber silver here, and I’ve gotten much better since then (I think it was Jan 2012 I was last there).  The competition has definitely worked it good since.  I was stupid for not working it better then, but I stumbled on a honeyhole elsewhere at the time, and one thing led to another.  Oh well.

So, with that, hadn’t found a silver in about 2 weeks, and even tho I was wasn’t getting out much, and was hitting low probability situations, it was frustrating.  Its all about the experience.  Its an addiction at a lower level of neural circuitry that all the rationalization doesn’t help.

So, Friday had a doctor appointment in a township I have never detected in, but has alot of old areas, so I found a couple of prospective sites near his office.  The first was just brutal due to EMI.  It was night next to a powerline and a TXRX tower of some sort.  I can deal with noise, but not high tone noise.  Most of the EMI was coming in at CO 50.  The site had promise, as it was old, and I’m sure the competition has to deal with the same thing, unless they have an EMI proof machine, and there were a few good tells, but I just couldn’t take it, and after about 90 minutes left.  I think the trick to this site will be to come in with an almost entirely black screen, with just a small white window for dimes and quarters.  I’ve proven that the E-Trac will do fine without a threshold, so this is an approach to try sometime.  But, I don’t like making pattern changes in the field.  There is something wonky about my pattern editor, or I don’t know how to use it right, so that’s best done sitting at home.

Onto the second site, and even older park, in the midst of alot of old houses, but it is small.  I rarely have good luck at small parks, as they are so easy to grid out.  I started right in the far corner, and gridded from both edges, and got some good tells (deep 60s pennies), but it took quite a while to get even the first wheatie.  The problem at this site is that the mineralization was quite high, and I was struggling for depth on the clad.  I was getting quite frustrated, wondering if I would ever find silver, when I got a really deep wheatie, and then a dateless SLQ about a foot away, with just 20 minutes left before I had to leave.  I thought it was gonna be a clad Q (just the way my luck was running lately), and was ecstatic to see that shiny disc.  I have my doubts about my ability to get dimes here, due to the mineralization, but we’ll see.

Was gonna get out for a couple of hours this morning, but I’m doing this instead :)   Just too much work and chores.  And, I’m training for a marathon as well, and that screws up your schedule, cause you can’t do yardwork on those hard training days (at least I can’t).  Oh well.

Conductive Tones vs TTF Test

I have not got out much at all since the last entry.  Work and other chores and so forth.  I haven’t found much either, a few wheaties and no silver.  Cleaning up a few old sites and writing them off.  All boring, but I like to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

And (my wife will kill me for starting a paragraph with a conjunction) now that school is almost out, I prolly won’t get out much going forward either.  If I’m lucky, I’ll update this page once a week or so, but maybe not, we’ll see.

Anyway, one of the sites is just brutally iron infested — way worse than the colonial site, which is surprising, since it only goes back to the late 30s, and I don’t think there was anything there before it, but maybe there was.  You won’t hear a threshold anywhere here, at least in the one section.

I run multi tone conductive pretty much everywhere, tho I know alot of folks would run TTF at such a site.  When I got a diggable high tone that I was fairly sure was a silver and not an iron false, I switched over to my TTF mode (and I have a full tested TTF mode based on some smart peoples’; I don’t mean just switching the TTF setting), I did not hear anything I would dig.

So I dug it, first comes a chunk of iron, then another chunk, then the high tone target (a wheatie), then there was still more iron in there under it — still no threshold.

I’ve always felt that multi conductive vs TTF was just a “presentation layer” thing as a software guy might say, and that, deep down, the machine was doing the same thing, and so long as your multi conductive was set up right, and you were used to it, there was nothing to fear from no threshold.

I would never try to convince anyone not to use TTF it if works for them, and I know it does for alot of folks.  And, this is just one test on one target.  But, I don’t think it works so well for me, and my multi conductive program does.  So, that’s that FWIW.

Final Colonial Site Hunt

Last week, finished up the colonial site I was working.  Found out it was actually settled over 300 years ago.

Didn’t find much, other than another toasted copper, a small silver bling of some sort, and a large copper button, which at first I thought was a huge dollar-sized copper.

The smaller copper was the most beautiful, deep, signal you would ever hear, especially at a site where most of the high tones (especially the shallow ones), had been picked over.  I was sure it was a big, deep silver, and was quite disappointed.  I can make out a right facing bust that the Britannia device on the back.  Its too small to be a KG III, so it is probably a Machin’s Mills or some other sort of colonial knockoff, but there isn’t enough detail to get a positive ID.,  Oh well.

As for the button, there are little floral designs on it, but I ain’t good enough to get them to come out in the pic.  Surprising that it is the only button I found at the site, as, unlike park hunting, I dug almost all non-ferrous tones.

It was a fine site, but only 3 silvers, and no seateds or older American coins.  Oh well.  Did find 19 old coins over the 2 weeks, all 1923 or older except one.  Of course, that 2 reale I found it the first half hour was prolly worth 2 weeks of hunting.

Haven’t been out since last week, being swamped with work and other projects.  One of those projects was going thru all my beat coppers, and trying to get an ID on some of them.  Managed to determine that two of them where Connecticut coppers, and two were New Jersey coppers.  Both New Jersey coppers were found at the same site on the same day last summer (that site gave up 10-12 coppers).  These coppers are so beat, I wonder why I wasted my time.

One thing I did discover, tho, was that a half cent I found at that site which I originally thought was an 1808 is actually an 1802/0.  That’s a very rare date.  Too bad the thing is so abused.  I don’t feel like taking a pic; its prolly in these pages somewhere (found it on 7/27/12).  Maybe I’ll put it on Ebay and see if I can get anything for it.

Not sure when I’ll get out again, hopefully soon.

Barber Dime + Silver Thimble

I guess the title says it all; no need to read the lame copy.  Scroll down for the pic.

Back to yesterday’s site, gridding out what remains of the one zone that gave up 6 old coins yesterday, and pulled another ’16 wheatie and a silver thimble.  The thimble is not stamped, which means its older than 1905, but not really old, as evidenced by the floral pattens (really old ones are just silver and boring looking, as if silver could ever look boring).  This is the third intact silver thimble I’ve found, and while I’m not a big relic guy, they are fun to find.

After that zone was complete, into a dead zone that hadn’t yet produced a single coin, and not even a decent tell, so I was quite pleased to pull a 1903 barber dime (of course, I’m trained to think like a park hunter, looking for tells, and I realise these old homesites don’t work like that, but that’s an entry for another day).  This one had a high FE number; mostly 20+, and it wasn’t that deep, but had that tight pinpoint, and the occasional low bounce.  That’s what you look for at iron infested sites.

Too bad it wasn’t a seated.  Saw the back (which looks more or less the same as a seated), and got excited for a minute.  Continue to dance around the seated at this place.  Everything but the girl.  Oh well.  There’s not really enough promising real estate left to get one at this point, but I gave it a good go.  One more day, maybe, before tabling or closing the site.

Old Coin Potpourri

Its been a few days, mainly cause I’ve been way busy with other stuff, and ain’t been finding much — I’ve only gotten out about half as much as usual.

Last Wed went back to the colonial era site that gave up that gorgeous 2 reale and 1875 IH, and as I feared was possible, did not dig a single coin all day.  Sheesh.

Next day went back to the park that’s given up 40 silvers (20 or so this year), just trying to finish off the loose ends, and again didn’t find anything but a few wheaties.  I hate that stage of hunting a site, but that is often when you find the best stuff — have found a couple of walkers and a barber Q in those loose ends sections of other sites, but it just doesn’t seem likely here.  Too bad there is still more unpromising land to do to close that site off.

Friday had an appointment and went to a new site near the appointment — it seemed promising — an old park surrounded by houses at least old enough to be on the ’37 aerials, but the site was a dud — heavy mineralization and shallow bedrock, in some cases only 3 inches.  The frustrating thing was the site should have been killer, plenty of trash, and tons of good tells: 60s and 70s clad and old bottlecaps, none really deep, but all I could muster was one wheatie.  Are you kidding me?  I usually eat these sorts of sites up.  I wasn’t gonna find anything deep due to the extreme mineralization, but the bedrock kept everything shallow.  Where was the silver?  How was the silver gotten, but not the 60s and 70s clad?  Who knows?  My guess is its a density issue — not many houses around, and no reason to really visit this park from elsewhere.  There may be a couple of silvers here, but I don’t think I will be the one to find them.  Certainly the most frustrating hunt of the 3 days, due to expectations, and hope of developing a new site, which I am in sore need of.

Saturday, ran 21 miles, so I was shot for the weekend.

Today, legs still shot from the run, decided to go back to the colonial site from last weekend/early last week, cause there are not many targets, which would be easy on my legs.  Another hour and a half goes by at this site, working the area near where I found the 2 reale, and still not another coin, and was about to give up and go elsewhere (not that I really have an elsewhere to go right now), when I got a 12-37, which turned out to be a smoothie copper on its side.  Only my third copper of the year.  Too bad its a smoothie, but it gives you the adrenaline and hope that it is still possible to find old coins here.

Finished up that area, and decided to work an unfinished area between where I found a wheatie and and that old silver spoon, and the IH, and had some better luck here.  Hit a wheatie spill with a nail — was surprised to pull a 1910 and 2 1916s wheaties from the same hole.  3 old coins in one shot.  Woohoo.  Shortly thereafter pulled a decent looking 1912 V nickel, as these things go (only the 4th of my career, along with 1100+ silvers — I guess that’s a whacked ratio), then a really nice, heavily greened 1910 wheatie.  It would definitely be XF, but the patina has a weird shiny marbled look (that’s the way it came out of the ground for some reason).

I figured I’d never see another silver coin again (it had been a while, at least time wise), since my last (but when it is a coin as nice as that 2 reale, you really don’t care), and had already written this entry in my mind, titled “No Silver”, when I got a beautiful 12-44 that bounced to 07-45 and the like.  I knew it was a silver dime, and was hoping barber or seated, given the other old coins here, but it was a 1920 merc.  I was happy to see the silver at the bottom of the hole, but figure I have a real shot at a seated or older American coin at this place, but, outside this small zone, good targets are incredibly sparse, and I figured I blew one of my last chances at a seated on this one.

But then I got one more beautiful signal, a 12-47 bouncing to an 01-42/01-43, a little scratchy, but these always end well.  My heart was thumping.  Opened the plug and hit a small nail.  Sweet, that would explain the scratchiness of the signal, and sure enough, it came in even cleaner on the rescan.  Now I’m thinkin’ seated Q or half, finally hit it, and its a deep piece of solid copper.  D’oh!  Are you kidding me?  Oh well.

So, here’s today’s take 1910 x2, 1916×2, 1912V, 1920 merc, and smoothie copper –

By far my best day in terms of quantity of coins at this place (previously, the best was just two old coins).  Its a frustrating site, tons and tons of iron that sometimes sound good untll you work the signal, yet so few diggable targets.  Hard to describe really — certainly not like park hunting, but the possibility of a big fish, no matter how remote, keeps you going.

Well, I guess I’ll give it another day here.  The sad thing is — the section that has given up a decent quantity of old coins has very little left of it.  All the old coins except the 2 reale and the copper have been found in one this area, and all other areas seem dead, except one stray newer wheatie elsewhere in a zone that didn’t work out.  I really don’t expect to find another coin here, but I have to keep at it.  Wouldn’t you?

BTW, is this effing winter ever gonna end?  It was 38 when I woke up.  I had to put 4 layers on, and there was a wicked chill breeze.  When the sun was in, it felt like all those February hunts, just without the copious quantities of silver.

Semi Key Indian

Back to the colonial era site of the last 2 days, and in a little less than 4 hours of hunting, I dug exactly 2 coins.  Talk about low density (it is a huge site), being hunted out, or both.

One of them, tho, was a rather nice semi-key date IH.  Those who read me know I’m pretty disdainful of IHs, cause they usually come out of the ground around here looking like crap, but check this one out –

Full bold Liberty, full detail in the feathers, and even the diamonds on the ribbons.  Would go EF40 or AU50 for sure, where it not for the dirt.  I’m afraid to clean it.  Rare that I would get one that is not corroded (my first), a semi key date (my first), and EF detail (my first or second).  When you can’t pull a silver trifecta, (or silver unifecta for that matter), you take what you can get.  Nice coin, really.  (I’d love to get a copper at this site, seeing how benign the dirt seems to be here).

The other coin was a 1945 wheatie.  No great shakes, but it opens up a new paradigm at the site.  Even so, I wasn’t planning to go back to the site for a spell, given that I had only dug 4 known older coins in about 8 hours of hunting, and only one silver, but that IH is nice, and older than I expected, so maybe I can squeeze a seated out of here after all.  OTOH, its very possible I won’t find another coin here.  We’ll see.

BTW, Pink Panther points out that yesterday’s spoon is from 1905.  I didn’t think it was that old.  Another reason to get reenergized about the site.  Thanks Pink (I’m not sure why the comments don’t work, prolly cause you included a link — preventing links in comments eliminates spam).  Here’s the link to the spoon on Ebay (this link may be bad in a couple of weeks).