In the last 48 hours I have been out searching for ca 19. It was a lot of walking involved. And digging a great number of signals. Very much of what I dug up was rubbish, maybe even more than usually. The terrain in the camp area is hilly and a mix of forest and marsh. To begin with I found a small stash of M24 stick grenade parts. Mostly the metal fittings for the wooden stick, but there were a few brennzunders as well. A few meters away I found the head for a grenade too, it had been emptied and looked to be well preserved, we ll see later after I give it a bath in oxalic acid. During the next ten minutes I dug up four 2 cm casings and a 7.5 cm LiG casing, all in steel but in good condition.
When I was taking a rest and some lunch I heard a dog barking nearby, and suddenly a happy Retriever came jumping out of the bushes. He had a yellow west with red cross markings and a radio. Apparently a rescue dog under training. Its handlers was calling him back, but the next hour I got "rescued" by him three more times. I suggested to the Red Cross guys that they could hire me and I`d happily roam the forests being found by the ecstatic dog.
On top of a hill I emptied a small dumping pit. In it was a German coin, a toothpaste tube, some bottles and ampoules, and a steel Heer belt buckle. It also held some cutlery and a nice cigarette casing with the owners initials scratched in. I had noticed the forest floor was abundant with berries. Mostly blueberries and cloudberries. I picked a bag of the latter for the Girlfriend, and ate several handfulls of delicious blueberries.
After a few hours with no finds I noticed what was a pond earlier this summer had now dried out. O`Joy!! Every time I had walked past the pond I had been wondering what might be hidden under the water. Now I would know. I spent the rest of the day digging the muddy pond bottom and found several horseshoes, bolts, a tent peg, an axe and lots of rifle ammo. When I had done about half the area of the pond I had to call it quits. I was tired, all wet and very hungry. As I strolled out of the woods taking a tractor road I had never walked before I found a decomposing reindeer in the middle of it. Quite nasty and smelly.
This morning I was on my legs before 07. My muscles and joints were aching, so to punish them for whining I decided to take them out for more digging, maybe that will teach them! Half hour later I parked the car, and the second I slammed the door shut my head was swarmed by gnats. Those agressive little beasts was in my ears nose, mouth and eyes. It was something else I tell you! They should use these bugs for interrogation or torture! From a pocket in the backpack I yanked a seldom used mosquito netting to wear over the head. I am so happy I had that, or else there would not have been any expedition today.
I found my way to the pond and continued the searching there. A few hours later I was done. I had only found crap. A few large files, lots of horseshoes, more ammo, a bent tent peg and parts of a horse drawn wagon. None of the helmets, guns and dog-tags I had dreamed would be there.
Now I strolled into the area where several barracks and huts had stood. The foundations of them is clearly visible and here and there ovens are still laying around. Of course the amount of signals increased in this area but much were low quality signals, like nails and wires and the occasional red plastic excersise ammo, and food tins, oh, the food tins... The Fisher gave happy noises when I sweeped it over a small ditch and it was ten 7.5 cm casings. I have found a lot of those this season. I need to figure out something cool to make with them. Another ditch also had a good signal but that find went right into the mystery-part category. First I thought that I was digging up a rubber coat, but when I finally had it on the surface it was several bags. I have no idea what they was used for, what nationality or if its war or post-war. Hopefully some of you readers will be familiar with them and let me know. The next signal was 25 rounds for the Mauser rifle and next to a dug-out I found a Panzerfaust Klein tube!! That was really a nice find for me, and I can`t wait to clean it up to see if colors have survived.
A few garbage finds later I began digging a hole filled with rocks. Really difficult work but the signal was too good to be ignored. Half hour digging payed off. I pulled up a grease box and a MG oil can! Except a small hole in the can it was in great condition and will display wonderfully.
Just centimeters under the moss I excavated a live 7.5 cm grenade, took a pic, covered it back and GPS marked the location. It is far away from where people usually roam but maybe the EOD will want to play with it.
The day had passed rather fast and I was on the move towards the car when I came across a spot with a lot of signals, so much that it ll take several trips. I spent an hour and half picking up a lot of small MG parts, and maybe some K98 parts and also a shovel a pick axe and three detonators, Sprengkapsel No.8, used for grenades.
It has been two great days out in the nature, and the mosquito netting made it bearable. But everytime I removed the netting to drink or eat the gnat bastards did their thing and when I got back home I could count 36 bites in my face. It is itchy and my face is as swollen as it hasn`t been since my boxing days :D
Well, the Girlfriend will be back tomorrow so there will be a few days till next dig. But I will try lure her with me out under the guise of berry picking ;)
Until next time, keep smiling and keep free from bug bites.