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Metal Detecting
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Joseph Stewart State Park

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Joseph Stewart State Park, Set 4: Look at all the Treasure!! (+13 insets!)

Joseph Stewart State Park, Set 4: Look at all the Treasure!! (+13 insets!)
(+13 insets!) (please view large!) For info about the pictures today, please scroll down, down, down to "About Today's Main Picture". And yes, I know, I know…War and Peace…get your coffee or fall asleep!

Trip Talk: Metal Detecting is Great Fun!

About six months ago my younger brother got his hands on a metal detector, something that I was curious about too. Soon he was sending me pictures of his finds and relating the fun adventures he went on to get them. I couldn’t get enough! I was always asking him for updates--what did he find today?! I just loved the idea of snooping around with an odd-looking device, hearing beeps and then digging up something buried for who knows how long. No matter what Brian found--junk like nails, screws, bottle caps…or extra cool prizes like lost jewelry, coins, or even military medals--I was bouncing up and down to congratulate him on his treasure.

A couple of weeks into September, Steve surprised me with an early birthday present…a metal detector! In all truth, he actually didn't have it for me then because he wasn't sure which one I wanted. We decided to get an inexpensive one from Costco to find out how much I liked this hobby.

Immediately I was digging up my own treasures, all on our own property! Almost everything was metal junk--nails, screws, wire, lumps of melted metal from past fires in the area--but I also found fun stuff like a dog collar, pennies, nickels and dimes, and even a fork and spoon! Since it was obvious I really enjoyed this hobby, we returned the cheap version and bought a much better metal detector which hobbyists really love. And I love it too! :)

Strange Bits of Metal…or Are Those Meteorites?
While I was out looking for treasure, I also found bunches of odd, extremely corroded metal fragments. Sometimes as deep as a foot underground but mostly close to the surface or laying on the ground, these bits of metal were spread out seemingly everywhere on our 26 acres. I found them in the meadows and in the forest, on our hill and all around the house. As I continued to dig them up, I pondered what they might possibly be. The only thing that might make sense was shrapnel…but…HOW?! Since when was our property a war zone? The more bits I dug up, the more perplexed I became.

Hopping on the internet, I began to look for clues. I knew that our town, White City, was home to the WWII military installation, Camp White, but it didn't answer my questions. It was a dozen miles away and totally remote compared to the bustling area just north of Medford.

Then I discovered a popular, nation-wide metal detecting forum which had a place where I could introduce myself. Along with my greeting, I asked if anyone had thoughts about the metal shards featured in the picture I included. I crossed my fingers that somebody could help me out.

Lo' and behold, one of the friendly folk spoke up and announced that he knew EXACTLY what I had and where it came from. How could he know so definitively? He lived less than a mile from me and his property was covered in these shards too! Initially believing these strange, heavy chunks to be from a meteor, my new friend wrote to a university professor. Following the advice he got, he bought a test kit which would tell if the fragments were indeed other-worldly. However, the results were negative.

Back to the drawing board, he then found out about Camp White and dug further until he discovered the answer we both so badly needed. He was delighted to tell me what he learned!

Camp White purchased the entire area where we lived and it was used for artillery exercises! For miles around, the land was heavily bombarded with all kinds of ammunition, missiles, bombs, and the like. After the war was over, an effort was made to use bulldozers to turn the soil in heavily-hit areas and bury much of the shrapnel. One detail shocked me: the area was also littered with unexploded ammunition and signs were erected to warn people of the danger. The last unexploded ammunition was found years ago but it's likely there are more, which is really chilling to think about.

Over the years, memories of Camp White's use of the area were gradually forgotten and today it's fair to assume that most residents have no clue what's scattered around on their land, or where it came from. Just like I was saying in my last post, most people--myself included--put history on the back burner and so the rich history of where I live is lost to the majority of its inhabitants.

Once Again, History is an Important Key to Full Understanding
When I finally learned what I'd been finding on my property, it hit home in a big way for me. I held a piece of shrapnel in my hand and thought about how it came to be here. I read the articles online about Camp White and watched the documentaries I located. For the first time since we moved here a dozen years ago, I finally felt like I knew this place. No matter how many picture's I've taken, or exploration I've done, or people I've met…it was these pieces of metal which gave me a true understanding of where I lived and one of the important stories in its history.

It's a funny thing to realize how important history is. It's something we've been told all our lives but it's so easy to brush off and ignore as a waste of time. Especially if you really don't understand WHY it makes a difference to your present self. This lesson added another speck of wisdom to my life and I am so happy to gain this knowledge--and a true reason to learn about history!

About Today's Pictures:
When Steve and I stayed at Joseph H. Stewart State for a few days, I made sure to pack my metal detector! In fact, I'd made sure that it was ok to use my cool new toy there. (If you're interested, here's the Oregon State Parks page on metal detecting. There are laws against using metal detectors in many places and a million rules about what you can and can't do, what you can keep, what tools you can use, and how to conduct yourself. I was delighted to learn that it was ok to use my detector there because most parks are off-limits. In this park, I was allowed to detect at my campsite and any unoccupied sites on our camping loop. Also, I could snoop around other areas within the loop so long as I was respectful about keeping everything neat and tidy.

I had a wonderful time cruising around and digging up all sorts of stuff. Of course I found plenty of junk--nails, screws, wire, aluminum foil, pull-tabs, etc--but I also found neat stuff too! In fact, I found so many fun objects that I'm going to share two sets of pictures over the next few days. Half of each set will include pictures of prizes I found at Joseph Stewart, and the other half will be pictures of stuff I found on our property. You may need to stifle your laughter over the "artwork" I've created from some of this stuff but I couldn't help myself! :D Hopefully you guys enjoy the show!

Main Picture:
One of the places I snooped around was the wonderful little playground in the center of our "A" Loop, which was a large, beautiful meadow dotted with oaks, maples and conifers. The second I saw that playground I couldn't WAIT to get over there with my metal detector!!

In front of one of the swings, I got some high-quality "silver" beeps from my detector and after some digging, I discovered a pretty little bead from a necklace or maybe a bracelet. "OH! I wonder if there's more!" YES, THERE WERE!! As I searched the area, I found four silver-plated oblong ferrule beads and three more of the round, textured beads. HAPPY DAY!!

Insets from Joseph Stewart: a bottle cap, hair clip, a child's ring, an electrical spade connector and a button cell battery.

Insets from home and nearby: a selection of shrapnel found around our property, a piece I call "Cowboy Art" (a circle of baling wire that somebody squeezed into this fun shape!), a cookie dough press form, a corroded penny, a fish hook and swivel (found at the edge of the Rogue River), a fork (in the front yard! :D), a flattened pencil top and a Winchester 300 casing on end.

Pam, I know you expressed an interest in metal detecting, and I don't blame you--it really is a lot of fun. But it can also be really boring when you find a dozen pieces of junk in a row. Or when you dig and dig and can't find the prize! The nice thing about better metal detectors is that you can make it ignore metals common in nails and screws, but you still find the better-quality ones which are made of mixed metals. You can see by my presentation here that I am delighted by my otherwise silly prizes…a grungy bottle cap is cool? YES IT IS!! :D I do wish we could play together with this detector! :D Just imagine the artwork we'd come up with for our piles of nails and screws! :D :D I hope you're having an ok day my dear, my thoughts are with you!! *BIG HUGS*

Explored on 11/24/19; highest placement #4.

appo-fam, Sami Serola, Valeriane ♫ ♫ ♫¨*, klaus 040 and 41 other people have particularly liked this photo

30 comments - The latest ones
 William Sutherland
William Sutherland club
Amazing series! Love the chewed up penny!

Admired in:
20 months ago.
 Ronald Losure
Ronald Losure club
Wow, Janet ! What interesting junk you've found. I'm surprised by how corroded the almost new penny is. The fork looks really elegant. Keep looking, but watch out for artillery shells.
20 months ago.
 Gillian Everett
Gillian Everett club
A magical mystery tour, what a fascinating historical collection.
20 months ago.
 Vijay Uppar
Vijay Uppar
Beautiful collection and nice
20 months ago.
uwschu club
ein absolut interessantes Hobby, das wäre auch was für mich
20 months ago.
 Pam J
Pam J club

20 months ago.
protox club
WOW eine super Serie
20 months ago.
 Ulrich John
Ulrich John club
That's a very nice and interesting series, Janet !
20 months ago.
neira-Dan club
passionnantes recherches ... certaines font penser à des perles métalliques de colliers antiques
20 months ago.
 Dominique 60
Dominique 60 club
avec des notes fantastiques !!
20 months ago.
tiabunna club
A great main image with lovely bokeh and matching series of macros of all the interesting finds you've been making, Janet. From your narrative though, just be a little careful what you find on your property! Thank you very much for your enthusiasm on my Vigeland image and for finding the interesting link to go with it.
20 months ago.
 Graham Chance
Graham Chance club
Nice work Janet. Congratulations for turning junk into art. You must have spent hours cleaning your treasure to make it photogenic.
20 months ago.
 Annalia S.
Annalia S. club
I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the story of your metal detecting passion, Janet. There are passages where you sound exactly like a kid with a new toy that promises endless adventures and others where i saw a connection with photography: both passions changing the way one look at the world and both capable of turning a mundane play ground into a wondrous land of discoveries!
I think, in addition to metal detecting, you should try your hand at writing, Janet. When I saw the length of your narrative I thought "I'll never get to the end of this ...", but instead I read on completely fascinated, chuckling at your unbridled enthusiasm and reflecting on how we all have an adventure-loving kid alive and kicking within ourselves!
Good job on showcasing your treasure finds, too!
20 months ago.
 Keith Burton
Keith Burton club
Wow! What a busy little collecter you've been.............you're obviously having great fun with your new hobby. My grandson has been hinting about a metal detector for ages - I may just have to get him one (and then I'll have and excuse to "help" him use it).

I really like all these images of your finds - they're absolutely fascinating and they're perfect as photographic subjects! The main picture is superb, with spot on focus and depth of field. I love the lighting too.

The inserts are just as good and I like the way you've taken the trouble to find appropriate textures during the processing. My faves are Inset 1, the bottle-top with the hints of red still left on it and the shrapnel image which has the most awesome processing!

You've done some great research as well, as your narrative shows................just try not to get yourself blown up.........but if you do have to call out the Bomb Squad at some stage, I want photos ;-)))

Thanks for your comments on my recent photos...........they're always welcome and appreciated.

Have you every heard of Knolling? It would be a brilliant way of recording and presenting your metail detecting finds :-)
20 months ago. Edited 20 months ago.
 Jenny McIntyre
Jenny McIntyre club
Oh I've always wanted a metal detector. My friend has one and he has found all sorts of things. When I was more able - I was digging around in my front garden, to plant some big plants and I found so many odd things there. The best one was a buckle of some sort - it came from the bridle and reins of a horse and carriage. As my front garden had originally been the driveway for the carriage and horses to go along to the coach house (which is my neighbours Anne and Peter's home) - it was great - just imagining the old carriage going along infront of my lounge window and the leather rein breaking and the buckle falling down.

I would take the detector along to the sand dunes not far from me, because that was where the American soldiers practised the D Day landings - the stupid thing is that they actually used real bullets and I think some soldiers were injured!!! So there would be a lot of interesting stuff lying around.

Over here if you have permission to dig in a certain field or place, from the owners, and you find treasure, you do keep a certain amount of the value, but the rest goes to the Crown!! Two men were digging not far from here - about 20 miles and they were using the detector and found some old coins - carried on digging around and it had been a hoard of coins from the 13th century!!!! They were millionaires overnight, and so that shows how much the Crown had earned too!!
20 months ago.
 Trudy Tuinstra
Trudy Tuinstra club
amazing work
20 months ago.
 Nicole Merdrignac
Nicole Merdrignac club
Superbe photo avec notes. Nicole.
20 months ago.
 Peter Castell
Peter Castell club
Two metal detector fans in the UK have just got prison sentences one 10 years and one 8.5 years, they found a Viking treasure trove thought to be worth around twelve million pounds, it should have been declared but they had been selling it
20 months ago.
Heidiho club
WOW ! Incredible collection of rusty little things - most I like the small inserts, reflecting fine on your black "mirror".
20 months ago.
╰☆☆June☆☆╮ club
★彡 Good work. Have a lovely new week 彡★
20 months ago.
cammino club
Interesting method and finds. Very well done close-ups!
20 months ago. Edited 20 months ago.
 Amelia Heath
Amelia Heath club
Superb finds, Janet. I love the main picture with the beads, and the rusty coin which looks older than it is I think. The fork - now I wonder where the rest of the cutlery set has got to? it looks as if this hobby is going to keep you occupied over winter.
Keep at it. You may find a treasure hoard.
20 months ago.
 Fred Fouarge
Fred Fouarge club
TOP -Collection Geld waard!
20 months ago.
 Horizon 36
Horizon 36 club
Wonderful, love all you stories. Thats great that you love looking for treasures.
20 months ago. Edited 20 months ago.
 Horizon 36
Horizon 36 club
Wonderful, love all you stories. This a great that you love looking for treasures.
20 months ago.
Peter_Private_Box club
Hi Janet,

Some really nice close ups, and interesting finds here!!
And such a great background story too!!!
I remember we had an American programme on our TV featuring an ex wrestler who started a metal detecting business. Wherever he though he might get a good find, he offered a deal to the landowner to split 50 50 the value of whatever he found.. He did well from it.

Let me also wish you a Happy Thanksgiving for tomorrow.

Best Wishes
19 months ago. Edited 19 months ago.
 Anne Elliott
Anne Elliott club
A fascinating hobby, Janet - that might just become a passion, leading to an addiction : ) Love the way you have photographed these bits and pieces. Just wanted to wish you and your husband a very Happy Thanksgiving for today. Also, many thanks for your MUCH too generous comment under one of my fairly recent photos. Have a happy day.
19 months ago.
Ruebenkraut club
very very cool stuff!
19 months ago.
 klaus 040
klaus 040 club
Very stunning what the earth is hiding from our eyes, Janet. Super work!
19 months ago.
 Valeriane ♫ ♫ ♫¨*
Valeriane ♫ ♫ ♫¨* club
de belles trouvailles**************
19 months ago.

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