Simon was collecting oranges in the orchard and didn’t realise until he got back to his car that his shorts had a car key-sized hole in the pocket.
A couple of days later he found me through TheRingFinders and I arranged to meet him onsite.
It was a huge area to scan, so I put my Search & Rescue tracking skills to work and retraced his meanderings in and around the trees – Made more interesting by the fact he’d been back the previous day for another look with a borrowed detector, which meant differentiating his original track from the fresher one. Good game!
I snaked my way through the trees following the two day old sign. Bruised leaves, broken stems or blades of grass under tension all reduced the search area to no more than a metre wide strip. These clues all led me to where he’d sought out the odd ripe fruit from random trees, retraced his steps, or just changed direction for no apparent reason, and right in the heart of the orchard where he’d finally filled the bag and turned to head back – were the keys, tucked under the grass.
It would have been a mammoth task to search the whole orchard without the advantage of being a tracker.
He was rapt, and more than a little impressed. Twenty minutes from getting out of the car, I was on my way home.
Sometimes, the eyes can be faster than the coil.