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Metalman9
M E T A L M A N 9
M E T A L M A N 9
Ph: 204-223-7809
METALMAN9
Ph: 204-223-7809
METALMAN9
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Index
September 1, 2021 - Red River Mud Bars
Sept. 1, 2021 Red River Mud Bars. The Red River is at its lowest levels since the dirty 30’s. In fact the river water intake pipe for the Letellier water reservoir is actually out of the water as is the intake pipe in Morris, Manitoba. Both of these communities draw river water into a reservoir for community use. Now water is being piped in from the Winkler aquifer. This record low water level is not apparent in the city of Winnipeg as the water levels are being kept at normal height by use of the locks at Lockport. This situation created a unique opportunity for metal detecting parts of the river bed that would normally be totally inaccessible. I remembered from my childhood, spending time near the river that there were some mud bars that at times were partly visible from shore. Much to my delight, I now found these same mud bars to be totally accessible and dry. And I don’t use the word “dry” lightly. Anyone who’s ever accessed the banks of the Red River and especially the shore knows just how impossibly muddy and sticky Red River jumbo can be. Now was an opportunity like no other. It was also a great photo op. I really didn’t expect much from a metal detecting point of view. I assumed that anything heavy like iron and metal would just sink in the wet mud beyond a detector’s reach. This was not the case. I was quite surprised by the site of the river itself. It quickly became apparent that as huge chunks of river bank slipped into the river due to constant water erosion, that these slabs of land, some still holding the remnants of tree stumps, would slide downward and then the leading edge would angle upward into the current. And quite a strong current there is, to the point of making lots of burbling noise through the remaining channels. These slabs of land being normally underwater are havens for clams. Clam beds. It is on the downward side of these bars that I found deep layers of clamshells and yes, metal too. The shore and bank themselves were also a good source of various metals finds. The highlights of the hunt for metal were an aluminum bracelet with the name “Maurice” scripted on it. This was found on the river bank itself. In the clam beds on the mud bars I found what appears to be a 3.5 cm copper coin or copper slug or possibly the centerpiece of a surveyor bourne. It weighs 23 grams. There definitely is an edge on the inside of the piece but I simply cannot make out any other distinguishing features due to heavy corrosion. I later contacted two coin dealer friends and crossed my fingers. Both came back thinking that the piece might be a 1797 English Penny sometimes called a Cartwheel Penny. There are nice pictures of these on eBay to compare with. Also of interest were two round bullets or shots from either a musket or black powder gun. I often talk about how every location has its own flavor or particularity. This location is no different. Being surrounded by agricultural land that has been in use for close to two centuries, I found various agricultural machine parts and barbed wire. And being a river, and rivers being home to fish, I also found lead fishing weights and rigging. Yes, those are indeed bolts hex nuts and a Champion spark plug that were being used to weigh down a fishing line and hook. All and all it was a successful day. I always enjoy finding glass and animal bones and unique rocks. I especially like the old ornate or inscribed glass pieces. The brown jug fragment was from an era when Javex came in large glass bottles. One another piece, the Anheuser Busch logo is unmistakable. I will certainly return to the river and take full advantage of these historic low water levels. I welcome any thoughts or ideas as to how best to restore this coin without further damaging it. Enjoy the pictures. Roger
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September 12, 2021 - Red River Mud Bars - Revisited
Sept. 12, 2021 Red River Mud Bars. Revisited. The Red River is at its lowest levels since the 1930's. This I covered in some detail with the Sept. 1st post. I was fortunate to have time to return to this location and to metal detect further and cover new ground. The water level was somewhat higher today due to recent rains so I could not access the clam beds that provided such rich finds last time. Instead, I focused on the actual river bank just below where the water level would be under normal circumstances. This is where I uncovered my first find of the day. It’s a cast iron wheel with curving spokes weighing in at 9.5 lbs. It was buried deep. I can only speculate as to its use and origins. I have seen similar wheels on old steam tractors of days gone by. Also found was what looks like a BB pellet and a musket or black powder shot that must have hit something really hard as part of it is quite flattened. One US Lincoln penny was recovered but the date is unreadable. I particularly enjoy the pieces of barbed wire fencing, especially the joined pieces. Someone’s hands worked and bent and twisted this very wire oh so many decades ago. Their presence is still there in the work. The Red River was the “Super Highway” of the early days for the settlers and was used for transportation of people, animals and goods long before the advent of the railway. Barges, paddle wheels and steam ships plied the river. I can only speculate as to the origin of the steel cable remnant but it is incredibly thick and may well have been part of ship’s mooring. Personally, I cannot see any agricultural use of such a thick cable. Any amount of length would have been near impossible to lift by hand. I also picked up a fair bit of glass, some old and some maybe not so old. Another nonmetallic find was very nice and interesting conglomerate rock. While digging on a weak signal by the river itself, I came across a thick layer of pure dark gray clay. No target was found ??? Yet when I stuck my Pinpointer deep into this soft gooey sticky stuff, the Pinpointer went off every time. Later, and a foot deeper, same thing. I suddenly felt like that guy on my Humor Page detecting his own steel toe boots. I have no answer yet to explain this ghost signal other than possibly the metallic content of the clay itself. A side story to this is that Tess and I will be bringing a block of this clay to a family member in North Bay, Ontario this fall when we visit. I've since learned that this is an ideal type of clay for a potter to work with. I’m looking forward to seeing what she makes and what this clay looks like once its worked and fired. Oh the joys of metal detecting. As a hobby, it's so much more. Roger
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