Kid in the Country: Binking with Grandpa

The other day, after visiting a farm with Anthony, we stopped by a house where Grandpa was binking. “Binking” is our family's term for using a metal detector. For many years my dad's had the hobby of hunting for old stuff at area parks and old houses (always with the owner's permission, of course).

This part of Ohio was settled as early as the 1790s, so one can often find old coins and jewelry if one knows where (and how) to look.

We arrived just as Grandpa was about to dig on a target....


Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Approaching with Caution

Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — full exif
Anyting Dealing with Dirt Raises the Interest Level

Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 28mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — full exif
Lending a Hand with the Proximity Probe

Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 55mm — 1/250 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 — full exif
Phew, This is Tough Work!

Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 34mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 — full exif
I Think Something's There

Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 22mm — 1/250 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — full exif
Getting Close

Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 55mm — 1/250 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — full exif
Ta Da!

Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 55mm — 1/200 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — full exif
A 1948 Silver Quarter
Value: about two bucks in silver

Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 35mm — 1/1600 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — full exif
Quality Time With Grandpa

Dad does this for the fun, not the money, although having recently finally sold his accumulated silver coins for $1,800 in silver value perhaps went a long ways toward what he's spent on gas and equipment over the years.

The real satisfaction is to find a bit of history. For example, last year he was at an old house where the owner said that his sister had lost a gold ring when she was a little girl, 50-something years ago. Gold rings are generally difficult to find because they register the same on the machine as a pulltab (which is extremely common in the grounds of Ohio), but knowing there may be a ring in the area, Dad decided to dig all the pulltabs. The first target turned out to be a pulltab, but the next was the ring.

Dad didn't get to see the look on the face of the woman when the ring she lost 50+ years ago was returned to her, but it's was a wonderful feeling for him to have found it. He's done this many times over the years. Perhaps even more commonly, when he finds a class ring, he uses the information on the ring to track down the often flabbergasted owner to return it. He's been successful in finding an owner several dozen times.

It's been a very dry summer, so he hasn't binked much this year. (He won't dig in a lawn unless he can be sure to leave it without any marks, and that's difficult when the ground is dry.) We were lucky that he was able to do it a bit when Anthony was there, and that he found the nice silver quarter when Anthony was there. It turns out that there wasn't much else at that particular house, so Anthony's timing was doubly good.


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