Friday, May 22, 2015

First Large Copper of the Year

  I started the day with a brutal hunt around a very old and beautiful cellar hole in Jefferson with Richard's son, Rowan. We got off work early after finishing our long and arduous pillar project (see Penobscot Stone blog soon for pics) and decided to take advantage of the fine weather by checking out this old foundation on a dirt road outside of town. It was hot, there was no breeze, and the black flies descended on us in painful, undulating clouds. We bathed in bug spray and tried to Zen our way through the torture, but it was just to much. It was cruel and it was unusual, and we lasted about thirty minutes before throwing in the towel. Absolutely nothing was turned up at the site, but I attribute that more to the brevity and confusion of our hunt, than the value and potential of the site. When you look at the photo of this place, you will understand.
  I dropped Rowan back at the Ware Farm and made my way toward Union, where I was supposed to meet my friend and fellow detector enthusiast, Matt Pollis, for an attempt at finding a lost wedding ring on the Haws Farm, particularly one belonging to Mr. Matt Haws, which was lost last year. However, something came up on the way and I had to zip on down to Camden, so I called Matt and wished him good luck on his own, which he had, as I received a text pic of both Matts displaying the newly rediscovered matrimonial jewelry. Good job, Matt Pollis. "I used my powers for good today," he texted me. 
  I still had an hour or so of daylight after dealing with my "emergency", so I stopped just down the road from my cabin, headed for a cellar hole I hunt frequently and mention often--the one where the old woman Sadie burned up alive inside of her home many years ago because she refused to leave during the fire. Many older locals remember the incident well and I always ask for her permission and blessing before I respectfully do any digging on her property. Anyway, there is an old carriage road that leads to her property and I always marvel at the width, breadth, and perfect straightness of it, lined on either side with crumbling stone walls, and cannot help but to feel as if I am walking back in time, surrounded by forest, no homes or automobiles, nothing really modern visible at all, and just the faint roar of water rushing over the old dam-ruins below me in the river. It could be any year at all. 1951. 1851. Timelessness. I wonder if they thought about such things 150 years ago. Had the red hand of modernity made enough of an impression yet to make them long for the simplicity of the past? Or were they looking toward the future as they walked that road, or rode it on horseback, imagining a time of greater comfort and ease, envisioning incomprehensible modes of transportation that would carry them across town in minutes? Are we looking toward each other on that broad flat highway through the woods, one backward and the other forward, almost meeting? Maybe. Maybe it was even me. Maybe I was out there on that road 150 years ago, thinking about the Future Me, who walks in those same footsteps, thinking about Past Me. And maybe I dropped a coin...
  As many times as I have walked that dirt road, with detector in hand, I had never hunted it. It occurred to me that I should, and so I did. And behold, from a depth of about seven inches, appeared a beautiful, bright green as if painted green, 1851 large cent in wonderful condition. First large copper of the year. Not ten feet away I found an 1890 V nickel, in very rough shape, but a V nickel nonetheless. Funny thing about that one was its proximity to the surface--I literally brushed the surface soil away with my prehensile toe and there it was. Just lying in the dirt. I looked down the long straight carriage road ahead. Must be at least a mile more of unhunted road here, I thought, and the Me's in all of the times everywhere smiled with anticipation. The sun was going down, so I headed for home, but before I did, I took a quarter from my pocket and tossed it back behind me on the road, for the next Future Me, if he makes it...

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