Recovered test garden...18 years later!
25ish years ago, my wife and I bought our first home together. At about that time, I was a pretty avid metal detectorist. My tools were the Fisher CZ-6a, the Tesoro Sidewinder Umax. I cycled through the Fisher, an amazing machine, to the big Whites machine at the time, then went for Fisher's newer all-electronic models, and eventually to the Minelab Explorer XS.
But I found that the adage that a detectorist who knows even an old machine will find much more than a detectorist who jumps to the newest technology is correct: My finds spiraled down. I'd gone from some incredible finds (4 seated dimes in a 5x5 area in a park Abraham Lincoln was known to have visited!) to very little. The fewer finds, the less interest I had, and life caught up with me. The Explorer never worked very well, and eventually died. But I kept onto that Tesoro, getting out a few times a year.
Back when I was in the hunt for real, I planted a test garden in my back yard. If you've never done that, the idea is that with several known objects planted in soil similar to your hunting grounds, at similar depths you'd expect to find them, you can quickly and easily tune just about any machine: This is what a silver quarter at 5" sounds like. Here's a silver dime. Here's an average silver ring. Bing bang boom. Remember those sounds, or how they register on your meters, and there is a high degree that out in the field you've got the same thing.
I planted that test garden on March 12, 2002--not quite 20 years ago but not too far off. Almost 11 years ago, we welcomed our son August to the world. He's gone with me detecting a few times in the past, but he was too young to really remember.
Fast forward to a month ago: My wife and I contracted to buy our first new home after having been here for nearly 25 years.
Fast forward to today: We're all working from home because of Covid. He's doing online school but not getting much of a chance to get out and enjoy the weather. We'd been doing some yard work over the weekend, which reminded me of the test garden.
So last night I mentioned the garden and how we need to dig it up before we move, or it'll be gone forever. Today at "lunch" we got out the Tesoro, grabbed the Lesch and our "treasure map" I made all those years ago, and tried our luck:
The map, I made on MS paint or something over 18 years ago:
My kid, excitedly digging a plug:
And the treasure, right where they should be, safely recovered, and ready to move to the new place in a few weeks:
--Severian the Lame