Ah, so it’s January, my least favorite month of the year, and February comes in a close second. What makes these months worse, is that during the week, the weather gets mild and I get my hopes up. I begin to think it might hold out until the weekend when I have the time to hunt, but nope, with the weekend comes another cold front or snow storm. I’ve lived in New England long enough that I should be used to that by now, but I’m not. I’m still easily fooled by my delusion that Mother Nature won’t change her mind last minute.
As usual around this time of year I’m in hibernation mode, and as my mother used to say “climbing the walls”, ’cause I can’t go detecting. Oh sure, I could hit the beach looking like the robot from Lost in Space, teetering around the sand in 5 uncomfortable layers of clothing, while trying to swing my machine, and then becoming really annoyed when I realize I’ve run out of tissues, or can’t find my lip balm. But seriously, enough already. I’d rather sit inside being cranky from lackofdetectingitis (I assure you this is a real condition).
I did, however, get a slight reprieve last weekend and managed to get in a few hours of hunting. My guy was off to New London to work on car stuff, and offered to drop me off at a friends house, which was nearby there so I could detect. Even though it was a very enticing offer I was like, “No I just want my blanket, but you have fun”.
I then watched 3 episodes of “The Man in the High Castle“, not because I like the show, but because I was too lazy to find the remote. By the time that was over, the dog was doing her Potty Pace (back and forth in front of the fireplace–why there I don’t know, maybe so I can see her from the couch?), so I reluctantly put on my shoes, scarf, hat, gloves and coat, and went outside.
When I got outside, the sun was shining, and I thought, Wow-how odd is that? Then the air hit my face, and OMG, it was warmer! I decided to walk the dog down to the barn, taking note of the ground on my way. It didn’t look frozen, and it didn’t feel frozen, but still, it was suspect.
So, with cautious optimism, I headed back to the house for my T-handle. I then walked around the property sticking it in the ground every 20 feet or so, to check for ground frozeness, adding in a few extra test slices to amuse the neighbors–I swear they think I’m a bit off, but, whatever.
The test was a success, the ground, surprisingly, was like butter. Major excitement took over as I raced inside to collect my gear, and get dressed (in 3 layers, just in case).
I didn’t have to go far, I didn’t want to. What I wanted was instant detecting gratification, so I hit the wooded parcel near the house. It’s an area I’ve hunted many times before, but I hadn’t been there since the end of summer. I save it for those days when I want to detect, but only have a few hours, and don’t have the time to travel.
Even though I have an extreme dislike for winter, the amazing things it does to the ground, like frost heaves and moisture, have a way of moving things around, and sometimes re-seed an area with some pretty cool stuff. I was hoping that happened here too, but I didn’t really care if I found anything or not, because I was finally off the couch, and doing what I love to do.
Luckily, for me, it appeared that Winter had left its mark on the area. I found a small flat button right away, so already my day was made.
I decided to concentrate on the button area, which I had gridded the heck out of a few months earlier, so I was really surprised when I got this 12/46 reading on my E-trac, a typical silver or clad quarter reading for my machine. I knew it wasn’t a clad quarter though, because 1.) The soil in this area is tricky, so things don’t always ring up normal (i.e. red dirt), and 2.) I don’t care what people say, if you’ve been using your machine long enough, you can just tell the difference.
I dug a larger plug than usual to make sure I didn’t scratch whatever it was with my shovel (past experience), and after fiddling around with the pinpointer and going a few inches deeper-ta da–Large Cent–Awesome!!! (That was for you JW). It was covered with a thick layer of dirt, and I thought it must have a lot of detail, because even without my glasses, I could make out the bust and wreath. Happy, I popped it in my pouch, and hoped it would clean up better than the other coins I’ve found in this red clay.
A few minutes later, I got another decent signal, but only a few inches down. I thought it might be a clad penny, but like I said, I never know here, this soil is tricky. I quickly dug the target, which turned out to be a wheat penny. Still better than a modern one.
Button, large cent & wheat penny, all in an area which was absolutely dead to signals a few months before. I wished I had the time to re-grid, but I could tell the sun would be setting soon…
I did the best I could with my limited time. I got another good signal, which was very deep, mixed in with a lot of shells, and appears to be what was left of a clock. Shells are a very good sign, so I made a mental note to return there when I had more time.
I got a little tired of hunting that area, so I moved on, and a while later dug a nice Indian Head, (my favorite coin). Then a Bicentennial quarter. This was turning out to be an okay hunt.
I spent some time trying to get in areas I couldn’t get into during the summer because they were really overgrown, but I found they were overgrown with briars, which, by the way, do not discriminate, they still stick and scratch you no matter what time of year it is.
It started to get colder, and for most that’s not a big deal, but for me and my cranky thyroid, anything below 40 degrees registers at about 5 below on my thermostat. So I decided to make my way back home, happy to have finally gotten some detecting in.
As I followed the path home, I was randomly swinging my machine and I got another high tone. I thought for sure it was a junk because it’s a pretty littered area, but nope, it was a buckle. Another cool find, and a great way to end the day.
So I got my fix, and during the week prepared myself for another weekend of crazy cold or dismal weather, and then last night I checked to see what the prediction for the weekend was–rain, ending mid morning, and 50 degrees–what!!! I have some important things to do today, and we have to go to some racing awards dinner thingie later–so my dilemma’s and decisions begin: Do I get my hair cut like I had planned or just go detecting? Do I dye my hair before this dinner, or let the roots tell my age and just go detecting? Do I paint my nails, or just go detecting? Do I buy new shoes and an outfit, or do I just wear the same old thing tonight, but go detecting? Do I wash, iron and lay my guys outfit out for him, or cross my fingers, hope he can figure out how to color coordinate, and just go detecting?
I can’t believe I’m really contemplating these things, because I’d rather attend this dinner looking half as good as I could, with my guy dressed in plaid pants and a yellow and pink striped shirt than miss detecting on a nice day in the middle of winter to prep for an event–a gal has to have her priorities.
Comments on “Detecting and Winter”
Good for you Allyson. Enjoyed that….it was awesome!!
Ha-so now I’ve got you saying awesome! I just don’t understand why JW doesn’t like that word, ’cause it’s really an awesome word.
I know but he is an awesome old fart!
You are so dead on with the thoughts that go on in a dectorist’s head! LOL! I really enjoy your blog and hope to meet you one day!
Thanks for the comment Laura. I just write it like I think it, or have experienced it. It’s definitely all reality based (well my reality anyway 🙂
Would like to meet you one day also. Happy Hunting!
Allyson, this hobby is enough to leave you loonie sometimes.
Like you, I’m constantly amazed at the beautiful weather on my work days, and the shitty weather when I’m off. I don’t know who this Murphy guy is, but his law sucks!
Even better are the weather prognosticators, who must base their forecasts on literal roll’s of the dice. I’ve now come to realize the following…
If they say “chance of a few passing showers”, bring your poncho when out detecting, because it’s gonna rain like a bitch. If they say “storms should hold off til late in the day”, you better be out in the field by 6am, and ready to pack it in by 10. And most importantly, when theyre predicting a major storm of the century, capable of dropping up to 24″ of snow, don’t cancel that meet-up with your detecting buddies. Instead, tell your spouse you’ll be home after dark, since it’ll wind up being sunny outside, with a few snowflakes. “It went out to sea, folks!”
The weather folks here in Texas now compare different computer models….US, European and Canadian. Usually big differences in all of them. Today great example….supposed rain. Not a drop so far and sunny out.
Having said this I don’t want to to piss off the weather gods…not any more.
And I thought that only happened in New England…
Hey there Allyson! What an exciting post ‼️I made my husband read it and he felt I could have written it LOL. Hit the nail on the head with my thinking. I love your name Diva, I am an absolute Newbie! Haven’t even dug my first target⁉️Got my first MD for Xmas and seeing as I’m in , the snow is about 3feet in my neck of the woods right now. And my swing in’ arm is itchy let me tell you. Been doing a lot of research for about six months now so I am well over-excited to get out and get dirty‼️I subscribed so carry on your great articles and Happy Hunting‼️⚒
Hey Lori, glad you liked the post, and welcome to the odd but awesome world of metal detecting! You must be going mad after getting a new machine and then not being able to try it out. Since you’re a newbie, I don’t know what kind of machine you have, but try not to give up on it if you don’t find stuff right away. Sometimes a person gets lucky and finds a gold ring on their first try, but for the most part, you search. It took me about a year to start finding the good stuff, and once I learned my machine, I kept finding more and more of it. And research is key, so it looks like your on the right path–Happy Hunting!
Sorry for the delayed reply Joe, but I had that racing dinner thing to attend.
I don’t know who Murphy is either, but I agree, his laws suck. And you’ve got it right about the weather, it either changes up on you last minute, or is just totally off. Your description is right on target. Hopefully winter will be gone soon and we can get back to a regular hunting schedule, unless of course the weather changes 😉
I’m only a stone’s throw away from you in Northern NJ, Allyson. As you know, this Winter hasn’t been that bad thus far, but I’m going to shut up now before I jinx us, lol. My buddy is retired, and he’s been able to get out at least once per week up to the present, which isn’t the norm most years. As for me, I work like a demon during the Winter, so I can play more in the Spring. I’m on modified duty now.
Hopefully you showed up to the racing dinner dressed like a circus clown with schizophrenia. Which would mean that you decided to go detecting instead of shopping for a new outfit. Which is what any dyed-in-the-wool, sane detectorist would opt for 😉
Somehow missed this comment, sorry about that. Any winter for me is bad, and wow, we just got dumped with almost two feet of snow in a week. So much for an early spring.
As for the racing dinner, I went detecting, didn’t buy a new outfit or dye my hair. It was kind of dark in there though, so I doubt anyone noticed.
January over here as well Allyson but it is predicted for 106f here tomorrow. Just started packing the van to go gold prospecting and hoping it doesn’t get any hotter. I enjoyed your story and know the feeling well. Ray in Oz.
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