1. In a Ruth Galloway book (by Elly Griffiths – I recommend the series highly), ‘The Nighthawks’, the ‘nighthawks’ were detectorists, which is where I first came across the word.

  2. Metal detecting appears to be a popular hobby in the UK: stories about significant historical discoveries appear every so often in the news. The hobby is illegal in Germany: you can only use a detector on land that you personally own, and permits are otherwise virtually impossible to get. Beside safeguarding historic sites, this is simple public safety: there are a lot of old weapons and bombs lying underground in various locations, so digging around for buried metal can be quite dangerous.

  3. Yes, the premise of the book I mentioned is that the dectorists discovered Roman or Norman artefacts, as well as (of course) a recent body. They had to have permits, too, which I don’t think is required in the US, but I could be wrong.

  4. @ Andréa – I’m not sure whether a permit is required in advance in the UK, but the procedure imposed after something has been discovered is well defined. The “treasure” belongs to the state, but the finder gets a fair share of the proceeds (or the original material, depending on what it is). The fairness of the system encourages people to follow the rules.
    In America, regulation done only at a local (state or even county) level, and is rarely (if ever) enforced. Yahoos search whereever they want, and think that it is their “right” to dig up on public land. During our vacations on the Atlantic coast, there were always a couple of ill-humored twits patrolling the beach, looking for jewelry and loose change, and they never seemed to understand just how annoying they were to everyone else.

  5. P.S. Getting back to the first comic, I recently discovered “Bird & Moon“, which is a delightful feature, although unfortunately already in re-runs.

  6. I recently ‘discovered’ this comic, too. I’ve been an avid birdwatcher since the early 1960s; unfortunately, I’ve had to give it up here in Florida because the seed attracts palm rats. I’ve put out ‘eco bait’, and may put the feeders out again in a few weeks, but for the time being, I am a bird-comic-watcher.

    Oh yes, the rats have chewed holes in our new screening of the screen house/bird cage . . . in retaliation, perhaps. It’s not like there is any food in the lanai (maybe they just wanted a swim in the pool). They also made their home in the bamboo, which I won’t cut down, even to get rid of them.

    Strange as it may seem, backyard birdwatching in Florida is not very rewarding; no migrants or surprises at the feeder. However, there are compensations . . . Crossbill Cardinal, Wood Storks, Turkeys (one of which directs traffic in our subdivision), Roseate Spoonbills, Great Blue Herson, Oh My! All can be seen here – http://www.alldogssite.com/birds_i_have_known_1.html

  7. Andrèa, I had to read your comment a few times to understand frisbeers. I kept thinking “Is drinking beer off a frisbee a thing”? 😅

  8. So is the “Celery Stalks at Midnight” a reference to the Will Bradley & orchestra number? Because if it is, that is a pretty arcane piece of trivia, as well as major geezerhood.

  9. Wayno’s blog for last week is up now, and his comment on this one validates Danny Boy’s idea that The Detectorists was specifically in mind. After identifying a model for the musician, Wayno continues:

    The protagonists of Detectorists, a British TV series, inspired the other character. Detectorists is a low-key comedy about rival bands of metal-detecting nerds in rural England. The two main actors are Toby Jones, who you'd recognize from many serious roles, and MacKenzie Crook, who also created and directed the series. It moves at a slow, almost hypnotic pace, and has a uniquely odd style of humor. These characters, which you might initially laugh at (almost looking down on them), turn out to be weirdly endearing and exhibit a quiet dignity. That's an inadequate description, but the best I can do. If you get a chance to check it out, I highly recommend it.

  10. It’s available on YouTube; I just watched the first episode, thanks to Wayno’s mention of the show (which I wanted to add here, but as my wrist was slapped the last time I dared to add something of a cartoonist’s own observations, I was hoping someone else would do it this time.

  11. Well, I tried several episodes of The Detectorists, and it just didn’t do it for me. I found it difficult that the tall guy – Something Crook – actually won a BAFTA for that series. But then, I watched a bit of each competitor’s work, and realized why . . . they were all even worse.

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