Thursday, August 20, 2009


The relatives had come to visit. Cindy's sister, Teresa, and her boyfriend, Jack, had never been to Arizona and naturally, wanted to spend a day in the desert and see how we use a metal detector when we prospect for gold.
We had been living in the desert for a few years now and so it seemed reasonable to explain a few things. Jack carried a pistol. I did't carry guns, so I told him to leave it in the truck. We did'nt use our desert critters for target practice, not even the occasional rattlesnake we might encounter. Next, we explained that everything in the desert will bite you, sting you, including the plants, so be aware of your surroundings, watch where you step, reach or squat. Then away we went.
I took Jack to the creek, scratched some material around and found a small piece of gold with my Gold Bug detector. Cindy and Teresa went exploring down the canyon.
Only a few minutes went by when there was a ruchus down canyon, and Cindy and Teresa came running up. Seems that Cindy had led them smack dab to a hornets nest! They had outrun the hornets, and while I was chuckling over the situation I sat down and reached to steady myself and ZAPP! Out from a rock comes about a 4 inch long scorpion that had just nailed me on the end of my finger! I did quite the prospector 2 step for a couple of minutes, as what felt like the sting of a 100 bees shot through my hand and arm. Cindy showed great concern as she turned to Jack and said,"Watch Buddy and see if he passes out or goes into convulsions or something, Teresa and I are going up canyon!" Away they went and Jack kept staring at me for a few minutes.
All of a sudden from up canyon Teresa lets out a yell. " Jack, Buddy, got to go home, Cindy just sat on a cactus!"
Now something just did'nt seem quite right here. I just got stung from a deadly desert critter and since I did'nt go down right off, the girls took a walk, Jack stared at me, and now Cindy sits on a cactus, all of a sudden we've got to go home?
Getting home was a trip! We laughed till our sides hurt as we went over the events of the day. Meanwhile, I'm trying to 4 wheel it out of the desert one-handed, as my hand and arm had'nt regained feeling yet and Cindy is draped face down over the back seat like an old rug, moaning with every bump, cause she can't sit up!
When we got home the entertainment continued, as Jack and I enjoyed a cold beer, and all of us kept on laughing at the screams and moans coming from the bathroom as Teresa took the tweezers to pull the cactus spines from Cindy's butt!
The Moral Of This Story? Don't try to impress the city folk with your expertise on desert survival. Just take them out and let them find out on their own!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


This was our total take from our dig today, 4.4 Grams. The 3.2 nugget on the top right we named, The Pack Man Nugget! Buddy.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Finding Something Of Value

Like all new ventures, it's taken time, patience, many disappointments, and many mistakes to become completely confident in my abilities to prospect, and trust the detector's ability to locate the gold.
My demonstrations on how to use the Fisher line of metal detectors are not designed around "mans" inate ability to contract "Gold Fever" by reading a book, seeing a large piece of Gold, or hearing all the "hype" from someone, who is more anxious to separate you from your money than be concerned with what your potential is to actually find something of value.
Into 5 months of prospecting on our claim, 2-3 days a week, we found a 3.2 gram nugget!
We arrived around 10am. This particular area of our claim required us to remove a yard (27 cubic feet) of barren boulder and gravel-pack, to expose a 2ft x 6ft area of bedrock. After a 9-hour day of digging, bucket sampling, detecting, there it was, all by itself, 3 inches in the crack of the bedrock. It was 7pm. Our take for the week including the nugget. Video will be added soon. BUDDY

Some Visiting Critters Not So Easily Seen

A deer observing us while we are observing it.
A little tree frog resting on our equipment.

Some Visiting Critters Not So Easily Seen

A deer observing us while we are observing it.
A little tree frog resting on our equipment.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Some Unexpected Visitors

On one of our trips back to the truck after a long day at our claim we came across this beautiful Mohave Rattlesnake. Then a Transula had the right of way! We respected their Territory!!
This brings to mind a paper I wrote for my college english 101 class back in 1986.
It was titled:

One of the best examples of "Classical Conditioning" I can give is an experience in conditioning that I, myself, acquired while living and working in the Arizona desert.
I spent many hours roaming the desert, "prospecting" for precious metals, or working on a mining claim, and I often came upon rattlesnakes. The sight of one would bring me to a halt, and send twinges of fear through me, until I could see for certain that I was in no danger of being bitten. By keeping a safe distance and prodding one of these snakes with a stick to get him to "rattle" so I would know the sound in case I happened upon one, while pushing through bushes and climbing over rocks, I would'nt need to actually see a snake to know that I was to close!
A rattlesnake's "rattle" is'nt the "chicka, chicka, chicka sound you hear in the movies. It's more like the "whirring" sound dried leaves make when they're vibrated together by a gust of wind. Hearing this sound somewhere near the vicinity of where I was standing would cause me to halt just as fast, and twinge in fear, as if I'd actually seen the snake.
My hearing and reaction to this "buzz" became so acute that a sound similar to it would create the same effects on me, even though it had nothing to do with a rattlesnake.
I became so attuned, in fact, that two years after after leaving the desert, I was helping a friend install a pipe in his chimney and had an experience that to him was extremely humorous, but at the time held absolutely no humor to me.
He had stopped at McDonald's to eat when in town to pick up the pipe. He crumpled up his papers and threw them on the floor of the car, and they came to rest in the pipe. When we had returned and pulled into the garage, I reached into the car to retrieve the pipe, the paper trickled down it a little, making a familiar "buzz", and the speed at which I let go of that pipe and excited the garage apparently was very funny to my friend because he laughed for twenty minutes! My heart beat did'nt slow down for that twenty minutes and from my explanation of the situation, he realized that the "buzz" had really frightened me.

Neutral Stimulus
NS( "Buzz")
Unconditional Stimulus---Unconditional Response
Conditioned Stimulus---Conditioned Response
CS--------------------- CR

In response to a question, "Would a "child" recognize that a rattlesnake was something to be feared?", making the snake the "UCS".

A child the age of Albert, 11, ( J.B. Watson's experiment ) could be conditioned to fear a rattlesnake in the laboratory. He may not no for sure that it was a "rattlesnake", probably any snake would cause him fear, once conditioned.
My own two boys, ages 3 and 4 at the time, played with water snakes from a nearby pond, when we lived in Arizona. We had come across a few "rattlers", and shown the boys the difference in size and appearance between "bad" rattlesnakes, and "good" water or garden snakes.
Apparently this "conditioning" worked because, as I was about to reach for a shovel to do some work one day, my son, Chris, age 4, from about twenty yards behind me, yelled that I was about to step on a rattlesnake! The importance of this is that he said, "rattlesnake", not snake. Sure enough, about 2" from my foot was a foot-long baby "rattler". Had I not froze, and checked the situation out, I might have been bitten. How Chris had seen this small snake from that distance is beyound me, but I'm sure glad our "conditioning" the boys to the reptiles of the desert paid off!

In "OPERANT CONDITIONING", a response is followed by a re-enforcement.
In these first few weeks of school, I have studied and worked hard, the result being that I have recieved an "A" average in my subjects.

Study and hard work----An "A" in my subjects.
I recieved a +5 WELL DONE from my teacher on this paper. BUDDY.

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