Sunday, April 10, 2011

4/10/11 Report - The Eyes Have It.

Dug Mystery Object.

I really like these kind of things. It can take years to figure out what they are.

I was just reading about a guy that picked up a lot of stones when he began collecting Indian artifacts and he had these old buckets of stuff that he brought home. He was going back through them and finding all kinds of neat stuff that he originally didn't recognize and over looked. Everybody else in the forum thread chimed in and mentioned the good artifacts that they overlooked when they just began.

I suppose that everybody misses some good stuff or throws good stuff away when they begin detecting. I remember the first piece of shipwreck silver that I found on the Treasure Coast. After several trips to the Treasure Coast without finding anything, I detected this flat thin black piece of metal. My wife was with me and she looked at it and started to throw it away. I told her to keep it. It wasn't until after driving home and testing it, that I found out that it was indeed silver and I had finally found a shipwreck item of some kind on the Treasure Coast.

I often remind people to keep things when you don't know what they are. I've thrown away some pretty good stuff in years past. Now I keep things that make me wonder what they are until I know I can throw them away without later regretting it.

It is still worth going back and looking through old stuff. I still often find things of interest that I overlooked before. In fact, just yesterday I noticed something about an old find that I never noticed before and after I did some additional research, now regard that item as one of the potentially most exciting of all my years. Too bad I don't remember where or when I found it although I can narrow it down quite a bit.

Maybe I'll show you that one after I get confirmation on some things.

Anyhow, here is an object that I picked up this week. It gave me a signal and I put in it my pocket for more detailed inspection after I got home. When I did get it home and took the time to look at it closer (I don't like to spend too much of my limited field time standing around examining things that I've dug.), I noticed a couple things that I didn't see while on the beach.

This object is about two inches long. You can see in the crust of stone signs of iron. But what I noticed when I inspected it at home, is that when I shook it, it rattled. It sounds like a piece of lead in a hollow piece of stone.

And then I noticed that the object on the inside,whatever it is, actually sticks out of crust a little when the object is oriented in the right direction. You can see a little of the point of the inner object protruding in the top photo within the circle.

Inner Object Protruding Through Hole.

In the photo you can also see a circle of what appears to be thin oxidized copper, which has been broken by the point that the point sticks out of.

It appears that inside the stone crust is a thin copper shell which has broken through both the copper and stone. Turn it upside down and the inner object disappears, and then turn it the other way and the object sticks out of the hole a touch.

Well, now I'm intrigued. I wish I could x-ray this object to see exactly what is in the encrustation. I'd like to hear any ideas you might have about this object.

The main point here again, is to keep things until you have a chance to study them and determine what they are, and secondly, closely inspect all found objects.

I believe that most detectorists do not use their eyes enough. Develop your observational skills. You can scan a lot of area much more quickly visually than you can cover with a detector coil

Sometimes it is worth looking where you are detecting, but other times it is worth scanning around while listening for your detector to let you know what is immediately under the coil.

You might be surprised by how many objects you can find just walking around eye-balling. I've found watches, gold chains, rings and all kinds of stuff, even cobs, eye-balling. You might have read the stories about how after storms the locals would find cobs after a storm, and not knowing what they were, skip them back into the ocean. At least that is the story.

Visually scan the beach for any signs that might tell you where you should be detecting.

Since I was talking about hunting the dry sand area at tourist beaches just the other day, I'll talk about that some more.

When I walk onto a beach, I first take an overall view, looking to see where the sand has been moving. Then when I decide if I'll stay at that beach or move on, if I decide to detect the dry sand area on a tourist beach, for example, I'll look for more detailed information about where the people have been and where they might have lost something.

You can tell a lot about how many people have been in an area of the dry sand from the tracks. Of course, after a rain, you can tell that somewhat more easily.

Look for where the towels were. Look at the junk. Look to see if other detectorists have been there and where they detected. Sometimes you can see their track and holes. Look to see where activities were taking place. You can very often tell where people were running around and falling. There are a lot of clues left in the beach sand.

This is all before actually taking the time to do any detecting. I previously mentioned sampling areas by detecting a loose pattern through different areas, but I'll put more discussion of that off for some other time.

I think I also recently mentioned that the areas where people are more likely to lose jewelry in the dry sand is not necessarily the areas where the most people congregate. Volley ball courts, for example, are a good place to look.

Around cabanas and beach chairs is a good place to look too. Often the chairs or cabanas will be difficult to detect around well, but you can do it fairly well if you learn how. For one thing, run your sweep parallel to any metal items instead of toward and away from metal rods and the like. A lot of things are dropped around and under the chairs.

When the beach chairs are moved, another thing you can see, check where the chairs were before they were moved.

You might want to go back and check the socioeconomic factors that I previously mentioned for evaluating a tourist beach.

I think I need to move on for now. I'll get to the discussion on sampling criteria some other time.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

It's beginning to look a lot like summer. East and southeast winds, calm seas, down around 1 to 2 feet, and beaches building.

The soft sloshing of water on the beach front tends to build up shells and leaves a little dip in front of the beach.

As you know the good thing about calm seas is that it makes for easy water hunting. And also it makes it easy to check out the front beach area.

I've mentioned in the past that it is not illegal to snorkel or swim in the leased areas, but it is not legal to detect. It might be nice time to go snorkeling and see what you can see. Or just wade around in the shallow water anywhere and see what you can see.

The water levels in our local waterways is very low, which means it wouldn't be a bad time to take a walk around the banks of lakes and streams. The Peace River water level is very low.

It seems to me that the miscellaneous pieces that were showing up on some of the beach fronts is now diminishing. Like I said, it is getting to be more like summer conditions.

The snowbirds and Spring Breakers have already started to decrease. Make hay while the sun shines.

There is always some place to hunt and something to be found.

Happy hunting,