Crossing Another Item Off the Bucket List

crotalbellMy better half and I were short on time yet wanted to do a few hours of detecting without traveling far from home.  This posed a dilemma, as there is hardly a wooded area or decent park in my city. We decided to wing it, and headed toward a nearby town, hoping to find a spot along the way.

Ten minutes into our drive, we were passing an area we knew had been hunted by almost every detectorist around.  I never like to say a place is hunted out, but when I think of this site, that’s exactly what comes to mind.

Hypothetically, it should be a great site-with the remains of the towns first saw mill (1700’s), and the leftovers from centuries of occupation. The rusty remnants hanging from trees and piled on rock walls attest to its “hunted out” status and the frustrations of previous searchers. The last person I know to have found something there pulled out a button a few years back.  This was a considered a major triumph, allowing him to keep his “legend” status in local detecting circles.

Most people know the site, and  go directly to the saw mill remains, dig some garbage, get annoyed, and leave.  I myself have been a victim of high hopes there in the past, but on a previous visit I made a mental note to return some day and investigate a partially hidden nearby area. So after some quick discussion, we decided to turn the car around and give the site another shot, but only hunting in the less visible area.

We began our search,  and I dug a “fatty” Indian on my second hole.  Enthused,  I popped the coin in my pouch, and thought more coins would surely follow… I thought wrong.  I started pulling out nails, leave-a-rites, and horse rings.  I began to get discouraged, but continued on… a horse shoe–wow–things were looking grim.  I moved to a different section.  Rusty buckle…okay…now things were looking up.  A few minutes later, out came a nice buckle, could I be on to something?

My partner yelled over that he had found a flat button–cool, and then I dug the obligatory spoon–the finds were at least improving.

My next signal was a solid repeatable tone that screamed “dig me”.  I didn’t bother to look at the screen for a hint of target ID, I just dug.  I got the target half way out, and literally did a double take as the excitement took over–could it be? Could it be? OMG it WAS a crotal bell!  I yelled out “Crotal Bell!!!” as birds started chirping, rainbows appeared, and the deer gathered ’round in silent witness to the precious relic in my hand.  Seriously, it was that awesome for me.

Why so awesome?

Well, most folks don’t know about my dream of finding a crotal bell.  It’s not something I’ve advertised, or that is on top of many detectorist’s want lists, however, it had been on my bucket list for years.

Recently, in my frustration, I had been complaining about not being able to find one, especially when my buddies were finding them like I find oxen shoes.  The elusiveness of this item has had me on the verge of tears, plotting stealthy moonlight excursions to secretly cut the coil wires on my über cheeful, crotal-bell-finding buddies machines. So this, for me, was a very significant find.

About 5 minutes later, I heard a yell nearby, and went to see what the fuss was about. It seems my significant other had also found a crotal bell.

I have to admit I was happy for him,  and although I may tease, in my heart I am always happy for anyone’s great finds, but this particular happiness was blurred by the fact that he never expressed an interest in finding a crotal bell…EVER!  And he just happened upon it, immediately after I found mine.  I was frustrated that something I searched so hard for, for years, popped up for him, just like that, and it wasn’t even on his bucket list.

But…that’s the way it goes in this hobby.  Some people seem to find large cents on every hunt, while others spend ages seeking out that same item to no avail. Heck, I even know folks who want to find oxen shoes, but can’t.

I have utilized positive thinking on occasion, but that just seems to make me focus on what it is I am lacking, not on what it is that I want to find.  In hindsight, I guess I had spent a lot of energy wondering why I hadn’t found a crotal bell, instead of just envisioning myself finding one.

On this particular day, a crotal bell was the farthest thing from my mind, and I was just enjoying what I love to do most. The Universe works in mysterious ways…

Happy Hunting!


10 thoughts on “Crossing Another Item Off the Bucket List

  1. Congratulations! I know I have found a few of these over the years but just tossed them into the UMO box. Now I guess I will need to see if I can find them and learn more about them.

    My bucket list is overflowing unfortunately…

  2. Although I am British, I still have the same feelings for crotal bells as your good self. Sadly, I’ve only a single complete one in my collection, but whenever I pop it out of its box, I have an overwhelming compulsion to give it a little ring, which always makes me smile.

    I hope your crotal bell brings you the same joy.

  3. Well done on finding the crotal bell.
    I remember asking in a previous post if you knew whether American crotal’s were the same as the English Version and you replied, “you didn’t know” ….. well you do now.
    Keep hacking away at that wish list.

    1. 19??? At the rate I’m finding them, I’ll be 80 by the time I find my 5th!
      Checked out the crotal bell article–nice. I liked the other article too, but that’s because it was a bit racy 🙂

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