The Abandoned Farm

Hey folks!

My last post was about our detecting days winding down here in northern Ohio. Winter is upon us, as it snowed a week ago, and temps are averaging in the 40s during the day.Yesterday morning I ventured out at 0930; it was 35 degrees.

I had to.

I’d just gotten permission earlier in the week to metal detect an abandoned farm, the house having been built in 1910. Its fifty acres, about 1/4 of it woods, and as far as the owner knows it is virgin ground for detectorists. I had no problem obtaining permission, either, as the property owner has experienced vandalism from trespassers and welcomed the presence of a retired cop on his farmland.

I spent about 3 hours there Wednesday, when it was 48 degrees. The first targeted area was around the perimeter of the run-down structure, where I soon discovered that the house had once obviously been aluminum-sided, because there were scraps of the stuff everywhere in the ground.

It was aggravating, to say the least.

Nails dominated the spot where the front porch once stood, but those were easy to hear. I wanted the mid-to-high tones bangin’ on my brain through the headphones of my AT Pro, but that wouldn’t be the case there so I moved to the expansive back yard.

That area was tough going because the grass was much higher, causing me to swing my coil a good 4-5 inches off the ground. That may not seem like much to a non-hobbyist, but we all know the problem with that much elevation.

I DID unearth some pretty good stuff…though I still don’t know what most of it is. The old clock gear-wheel wasn’t too hard to figure out; those are fairly easy to identify. The other metal items, though, still have me baffled. Most of them were copper and relatively large, easy to detect even at eight inches down with the added five-inch coil height.

Yesterday I concentrated on the shorter grass in front of the house, especially along where the sidewalk once was, and was rewarded with several coins and a beer-related disk that was just identified this morning. I’m not going to describe or post pics of the items I recovered because I’ll post video on my Youtube channel, probably Monday or Tuesday. You can find Team Ohio Detector’s channel here:

youtube.com/channel/UC3EBhEhX8q4RZqdyWJx4Vaw

By the time I finished 4 hours later my fingers were getting numb, even with the thicker gloves I was wearing; the damp, light fog didn’t help either. Coffee was first on the agenda when I got home.

It was worth it, though, and I’ll be going back repeatedly…as long as the temps are above freezing.

The woods will have to wait, however, as deer gun season opens Monday.

I have a strong sense of self-preservation.

close-up-aerial

Aerial view of the farm

It Is Upon Us

Well, it’s here.

Winter.

Though we’re not in the frigid depths of January, I think it’s safe to say, at least for the region in which  I reside, that winter is here. We had snow flurries two straight days over the weekend and the low temps overnight has been in the 20s. Today’s high is supposed to be 34; tomorrow, 37.

Those temps are a little prohibitive for me, at least as far as metal detecting is concerned. I don’t like having frozen fingers and toes. The ground’s still tillable because we haven’t gone icebox-mode yet, meaning several straight days of below-freezing temperatures which will freeze the ground, so I may be able to get out for a few more hunts.

According to the almanac, north central Ohio is supposed to have above-average snow and colder than normal temps this winter…but what do its authors know, right? We shall see. I was out more than a few times last January because Old Man Winter went easy on us, which was more than agreeable to me; I only utilized my two-stage snow blower three times total last winter, which says much when you consider I’m somewhat of a fanatic when it comes to my yard and drive.

Just ask my wife.

I won’t let her shovel snow or mow the lawn…or do any outdoor work around our home, outside of spring flower-planting. After all, I’m the retired one and she still works 40+ hours a week, plus keeps our home spic-and-span and cooks our evening meals. It’s just that I’m pretty particular about the way things look outside.

Anyway, enough about all that; I want to know when YOU think conditions are too severe to get out and metal detect. I know of a few detectorists who’ve gone out in the dead of winter when the ground is frozen, found a great-sounding target and then thawed the ground by various means in order to dig it. THAT is extreme metal detecting!

Extreme, for me, is hanging on a wooded hillside, one hand on a tree while the other swings the AT Pro, all the while trying to keep from making the evening news by falling/rolling down that hill and breaking both legs, a hip and suffering severe trauma to my male pride.

Let me know your thoughts on when it’s too cold to go dirt scanning, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

03-01-15

A Perfect Day

Today was a perfect day.

A perfect day. Temps in the mid-70s in November are few and far between in the northern half of Ohio; add in the abundant sunshine we had and it becomes the perfect day to get out and metal detect. An awesomely gorgeous day.

Only that wasn’t what I did.

Some things in life transcend this addiction we call metal detecting. Hard as it may be for us hard-core hobbyists to comprehend that statement, there are events and circumstances that occur over which we have no control, things we both know are coming and the unforeseen.

For me this day, it was the result of an unforeseen event that nearly took my life over a year ago.

My bride and I traveled to Columbus today for what has now become an annual occurrence: a check-up with my cancer doctor. As we rolled down I-71, though, all I could think of was how tempting all that open farm countryside looked, all the history that could be in those cleared, post-harvest fields. I needed to be out there.

Then the memory of being informed by my personal physician that I had cancer came to mind, a day I’ll never forget. Nor will I forget her words: “…if we hadn’t found the tumor in your kidney now, you wouldn’t see next summer.”

Pretty chilling stuff.

Every day since June 30, 2015…the day the surgeon took a third of my left kidney…has been a bonus for me, another chance at this life. I think about that every day, too. When I’m out in the woods, enjoying nature while listening for those all-important tones indicating possible treasure, I’ll pause every so often and take my headphones off just to…listen.

Listen and thank God for another chance.

blue-sky

Detector Days Are Dwindling

 

Unless you live in a tropical climate or are an uber-extreme detectorist, the days we’ve enjoyed since the end of last winter are quickly winding down. Here in north central Ohio we’re supposed to have a great day tomorrow but then the bottom drops out: temps plunge and snow is in the forecast for Sunday.

Personally, I’m hoping the weatherguessers are hugely wrong.

I hunted Tuesday and today, making a few good finds but nothing like what October brought me. I’ll probably not have another month like that ever again, but that’s OK; if I were to leave this earth tomorrow I’m content with the run I’ve had. I’ve made some cool finds and great friends along the way, and gotten hundreds of hours of enjoyment in the process.

If you’ve got the time and decent weather, get out there and hunt before the snow flies. Though I’m hoping for a few more good days, I know that soon I’ll be looking out my picture window watching the snow fall and wishing I’d gone detecting that one day…

 

Video: To Post Or Not?

There are those of us that choose to video record our metal detecting excursions and post them on social media, and that is a good thing. I can say that, by watching those videos on YouTube back when I first bought a detector, I gained knowledge, tips and instruction on how to metal detect, moreso than I would have otherwise. People like PalmettoDigger, Al-Fu at Al’s All Metal Detecting, the Silverslingers, Hiluxyota, Mental Metal….the list is endless, and so is the informational pool from which to draw. If you’re fairly new to the hobby and are reading this, I highly suggest watching as many metal detecting videos as you are able to.

I’d caution, though, on choosing who you watch. Not that there are detectorists who would intentionally mislead you or misrepresent their skill level, but rather …well, to be as polite as I can…there are some out there that just won’t be helpful. At all.

Unfortunately, social media video sites are open to almost anyone with a camera and there’s some pretty terrible material out there. I happened across a channel a few weeks ago that features a buxom female who wears very revealing outfits while she detects, clothing totally inappropriate for a serious detectorist, and it becomes very clear early on that she knows nothing that would be beneficial for a beginning hobbyist. It’s a ‘cheesecake’ channel, plain and simple…and it, to me, is an insult to the thousands of us that are serious about metal detecting.

Of course, some may say that very same thing about my YouTube channel also, and that’s OK. I know how serious I am, how much I respect the hobby and my fellow detectorists.

I just don’t want to watch someone show the world every penny and pull tab they dig, displaying it as if they’d just recovered the Ark of the Covenant.

 

All Good Things…

 

…well, you know the rest of it. Immigrant Woods, I do believe, is hunted out.

I hate that term, being skeptical that any place is ‘hunted out’. However, Friday I was back again, scanning the hillside in two directions: up/down and side-to-side. I dug eveything except solid iron targets, and I mean everything…

… and found nothing.

The honey hole is dry.

I made no secret of its general location, being a wooded, steep hillside in Mansfield’s South Park, however never revealing the exact spot. I saw evidence of another detectorist, being unfilled digs, while walking to Immigrant Woods, but whoever it was missed my spot by a hundred yards. They’d opted for even/gently sloping ground in the trees, foregoing the effort of exploring locations that would be difficult to navigate.

My hot-spot remained undisturbed.

There are those fellow detectorists who keep dig locations highly secretive, not wanting to disclose productive areas for fear of ‘interlopers’ poaching their potential finds…and that’s OK.

I don’t do that. Not for public parks, anyway, emphasis on public. Folks who detect in public parks can go anywhere they want. They can find productive areas if they’re willing to make the effort, and for some that’s the issue: effort.

Later this morning I’m headed to a wooded spot that’s 400 yards from the closest parking, knowing that some detectorists around here won’t make that sort of journey…too far to walk. I’ll be sixty years old at the end of the month, have rods/screws in my lower back, a titanium knee and rebuilt ankle… and I want to hunt, to find another bucket-list item. Therein lies the key.

You gotta want it.

Granted, I can only hunt for a few hours at a time, the days of sun up-to-sun down physical activity now being in my rear-view mirror; afterwards, ibuprofen and the heating pad become close friends.

To me, the pain is worth it.

Have a great day, and GET OUT THERE!

woods