It was time to go INTO THE GREEN.
Yes, I think of it as in caps. I cringe and shudder. I like the easy metal detecting. You know, like scoop up the sand and theres your treasure waiting to be plucked from the scoop at the beach.
Theres a problem with that, though. The nearest beach is an hour away and its not always convenient to go there. So I make do with the nearby parks with their playground equipment anchored in sand. After all, sand is sand.
As time has gone by, though, the pickings have gotten slimmer and slimmer. The Phantom Detectorist of Temecula (California) always seems to know which park Im heading for, and when, and manages to clean it out just before I arrive.
Now understand, Ive never seen this phantom before, but I know he (or she) exists. I see the proof. I mean, really, detecting the whole playground area and not finding any metal, not even trash? Someone has definitely been there. Either that or people just arent losing change any more or tossing their gum wrappers on the ground. Yeah, right. Pretty doubtful.
So Im sticking with my phantom theory. And so, shudder, this day I was going Into The Green.
First off, I needed to find the coin probe. This time I was going to be prepared. None of this stabbing the grass with a steak knife for me anymore. It was just that Id stuck the coin probe somewhere years ago after all, why would I need it? I dig the sand. And though I thought I remembered where it was, I couldnt find it.
A little over an hour later, I finally discovered it at the bottom of the closet behind some boxes. It had fallen from its original spot.
Okay. Batteries up and coin probe on board; Im ready to dig The Green.
On the way to the park, I think back on my other two attempts at digging the green. The first time was because I was detecting just behind the phantom. Again. My Whites Spectrum XLT was completely silent. I didnt even have a coin with me to check and make sure it was still working.
So, great idea, I decide to check it in the grass. Its still working all right. Tons of targets. And me with a sand scoop in my hand.
Luckily, I travel with a steak knife on board just in case. It hasnt been used in eons. Years ago, when my cousin first bought the detector, I wasnt scared of the green. I just got lazy after realizing sand scooping is so much easier. However, the steak knife is still in the car. So, that day I dug up four quarters, two pennies and one dime out of the green. I decided I would only dig sure targets, as my grass digging skills were pretty non-existent. One thing about that is you arent digging a speck of trash when youre only going after the really positive coin signals.
My second try was because I was so carried away with the success of my first attempt. Simple. Easy. Whyd I stay away from the greens so long? Obviously the phantom likes easier pickings, so Ill clean up in the grassy areas.
My bubble of euphoria is abruptly burst. Oh, the targets were there. I was finding them everywhere. I just couldnt seem to recover them. Not one.
I decided my major problem was using a steak knife for a probe just didnt cut it. It was too small of a point and, with the super wet ground, I wasnt able to pinpoint close enough, even using our super-duper, custom coin detetector program wed programmed in. I finally gave up in defeat and drug myself home coinless.
A couple of weeks went by and I got the urge to go meal detecting again. I headed for the park and found a quarter and a cool little Ferrari car in the sand. I know, I know. The plan was to dig the green. After all, I just spent an hour looking for the coin probe. But I just had to see if Id be missing anything in the sand.
Alas, the Phantom had struck again. Dang Phantom!
I wasnt going to give up though. I still had a good hour of detecting left in me. I eyed the grass. Okay, okay. The Green is calling me. So its back to the car to trade the scoop for the coin probe. I recovered a small handful of change, pitifully small, if you want the real truth, but I had fun. That was what counted. I discovered it was actually fun recovering coins from grass. Imagine that!
Since it was so much fun, I decided to go again the next day.
Well, over the next few days I cant say I found that many coins. It takes a lot longer, at least for me, to recover a coin buried in the dirt. I probably didnt even pay for the gas to get to the parks. However, I was in fairly virgin territory, finding quarters, dimes and pennies. I was even finding an occasional nickel when I took the time to dig semi-trashy targets.
I had fun though. Lots of fun. Theres something exciting about probing through the grass and clunk hitting that coin, then prying it loose from its bed to add to the ever-growing cache of treasures.
So, if the phantom detectorist of your town always seems to hit the sand just before you do, fool him. Go Into The Green.
Many parks have lots of "green" to detect. Maybe its time to check them out!