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.