I received a text from Sal on a Tuesday afternoon asking for help with finding his girlfriend’s lost ring (ironically I was metal detecting at the time). He said the ring was lost around two months ago and he’d gotten a cheap metal detector and made some attempts to locate it with no luck. He lived in Springfield, Louisiana which is about 30 miles east of Baton Rouge and a nightmare to get to with traffic, but within a few days I had found time to get over there to see if I could help.
The ring was lost in a wooded area across the street from his home that was covered in a layer of thick leaves, so I knew I had my work cut out for me. Once I’d fired up the detector (I just pressed the power button, but fired up sounds more impressive) and started swinging the coil over the area I realized just how much my work was in fact cut out for me… the area, which was along a roadside was littered with years of garbage from the nearby roadway and there were signals everywhere.This is most often the case near roads.
At this point all I could do was roll up my sleeves and get to work (figuratively, I was wearing short sleeves), so I began removing targets as I swung over them. I had already inquired about the type of metal the ring was, so I had a pretty good idea what type of signal I was looking for, but with all the aluminum cans under the leaf cover I was afraid the ring signal would be masked by trash signals. As I continued removing trash I came across a good signal in the range I predicted the ring would be in which turned out to be a broken mirror (for those that don’t know, mirrors often have a metal backing for the reflection portion). That’s right ! There were shards of mirror everywhere which gave signals that were in the ring range and were just waiting to slice an unsuspecting detectorist open. It just doesn’t get much more difficult than that, or does it ? …….
It’s when I began removing shards of mirror that I realized that growing up through the leaves, under the shade of these thick Oak trees thrived a rather large patch of Poison Ivy……
- Leaves (check)
- Trash (check)
- Broken glass (check)
- Poison Ivy (check)
Bring it on! — I kept my head down and kept searching. This was someone’s lost ring, prized possession, an item that most likely carried some sentimental significance and I wasn’t leaving until I could say I’d given it my all. It wasn’t long and my perseverance had paid off. I stood up, took a step back and let out a disheartening sigh as I scanned the area for the thousandth time and thought “I’m just going to walk farther from where I’ve been searching and outside the suspected area and give it a try”, and sure enough within seconds the detector gave a signal in prime ring range — there it was, it had been a few steps outside my search area the whole time. Always the last place you look.