Monday, March 18, 2013

A few odds and ends...

Hey there!  This post will cover a few odds and ends that I've been meaning to get to for a while now.  Up first, I have a NEW EMAIL address.  I have previously been using my work email for all correspondence, but that's gotten a bit confusing (and the storage space is rather low for large files like maps and research notes shared with my detecting friends).  So, for future correspondence about metal detecting, please use...

Next, I have a few plugs for other detecting-related media that you may be interested in.  The first is American Digger Magazine, who featured some of my recent finds in their latest issue.  The magazine includes excellent articles and pictures of finds from all facets of metal detecting.  This includes Civil War detecting (the primary focus of Detecting Saxapahaw right now) but also colonial era detecting, coin shooting, bottle digging, and more.  It's well worth checking out.  As a side note, for a more focused Civil War magazine which also includes metal detecting, check out North South Trader.  I personally recommend a subscription to both!

There are also two detecting blogs that deserve a shout-out.  Scott from Kentucky runs, an incredibly informative blog which discuses detecting in relation to archeology and modern technology.  Scott recently attended the Minelab Archeological Certification Program, sponsored by archeologists at James Madison's Montpelier and detectorists from Minelab Americas.  The program saw Montpelier opened up to detectorists for the first time in the site's history, working side by side with professional archeologists to search and document the site.  This is exactly the kind of collaboration that I encouraged in my previous discussion following the launch of Spike TV's train-wreck of a "detecting" show last year, and I'm glad to see such positive steps in the right direction by members of both the professional and non-professional communities.  Scott's blogging of the event is a fascinating read, and I highly recommend it!  See it here:
Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4  Part 5

I also wanted to mention a fairly new detecting blog, Allyson over at Detecting Diva.  While I do know a few female detectorists (or "detectoristas" as Allyson would say!), the hobby is admittedly very male-dominated.  It's great to see another female detectorist showcasing her talents, and I'm sure she will be an inspiration to the growing number of women in this hobby.  The blog includes detecting reports as well as links to upcoming historical presentations in the New England area.  Welcome to the world of detector-blogging!

Last but not least, I finally got out digging myself for the first time since January, and did it ever feel good to put my coil to the soil!  The day started out somewhat frustrating, as I had a list of properties to ask permission to dig, and not a single soul was at home.  Bummer!  So instead I returned to a site where I have standing permission to dig, an area of Civil War activity that had been hunted hard long before I stepped foot there.  The results were meager, but I did have a lot of fun.  I ended up with one wheat penny, a broken tack buckle, a brass rivet, and a large flat iron from a nearby homesite.  I also dug an interesting brass piece I have yet to identify, and will post on a few detecting forums to help with an ID.  Remember - never throw it away until you're sure!  I've recovered a few really nice relics from my scrap bucket in the past.

The best part of the trip came while I was detecting across the field, eyes fixated on the ground, ears tuned in to the hum in my headphones.  All of the sudden, BOOM, a loud explosion echoes through the air.  I take off my headphones, and look around and then - BOOM, BOOM, BOOM - a series of explosions.  In the distance, I see white smoke rising, and then I realized what I was hearing.  It was the sound of cannon fire from the nearby Bentonville Battlefield.  Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the 1865 battle, and this past weekend included artillery demonstrations at the Harper House visitors center.  The artillery fired several times while I was out in the field, and it was a moving experience hearing the sounds of cannon firing just as they would have been heard nearly 150 years ago.  Even though I didn't find anything that could be definitively tied to the Civil War, this was one of my most memorable trips yet.  Thanks for reading, and wish me luck next weekend when I go Diggin' in Virginia!!

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