Dog Day Afternoon


My wife, Val, and I had planned a weekend trip into the South Australian country to visit Val’s cousin and from some ongoing research into that region, I’d learned about an old homestead site that was worth closer inspection. Finding the owners was a problem but the site’s potential kept me focused and I eventually tracked them down.

They said there were no longer any buildings or structures of any kind, just a few stone blocks remaining of the old house. They wanted to know what I was looking for so I explained a little about my detecting hobby and they generously gave me permission to detect there. I assured them I that any holes I dug would be backfilled.

The soil was moist and digging was easy with the Lesche hand digger. These are very solid hand trowels made in the USA from aircraft-grade steel and they’re built to last at least one lifetime. I worked the firebreaks for a couple of hours and dug a couple of 1930s brass dog registration tags and a copper strip with a name engraved on it. By this time the wind had dried the paddock grass somewhat and I ventured into the central areas where the growth was shortest. The ploughed furrows and the thick vegetation was hard to walk amongst and very difficult to swing in but I noticed the strong winds had laid the grass down to one side and when I swept the coil in the same direction it was smoother going.

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