I lived in Raleigh North Carolina for several years and was an avid photographer. Living in a city and traveling put an end to gardening for a while. When I returned to the area I
grew up in I grabbed a hoe and spade and began playing in the dirt again.
There is something pure and simple about gardening. In the morning I head out with the
dog to check the land and look at the gardens when they are in season. The creek always has the most amazing sunrise, even if the sun is hidden behind clouds. There still is enough light and reflection to cast images and reflections in the water.
My first year back to the land brought an interesting new touch to gardening. While in
North Carolina I would hunt for Indian artifacts. One of my co-workers was into
artifacts and categorizing finds. This was my relaxation from photography and the bright
lights of the studios.
I never expected to find artifacts, particularly in my garden area. I should have
known though that the possibility could exist. There is an old Indian village just up the road and two Indian burial grounds less than a mile away in each direction.
I was smoothing the garden to get ready for planting crops and picking up excess rocks when I uncovered my first artifact. It was what they call a blank. This is a piece that is almost ready for finishing. I had a shape of a small spear; it just needed the final
work detailed work done.
After that find I watched the ground more carefully. I found a few more shards and just
before calling it a day in the garden I found what I have been told was a fishing tip. It
was one of the finest points I had ever seen and in perfect shape.
In my first year I found about 10 artifacts in the garden. I filled out all the proper
papers for the pieces, wrote down a description of where they were found and by
what and made a detailed drawing of the piece.
What many people don’t realize is that any artifact is a piece of history and it needs
to be registered and information kept on where it was found. I know so many people
that pick up pieces and throw them in a box. They know where they found the piece but
twenty years later no one else does.
The artifacts led me to looking at the land better and finding the old Indian trail along
the creek and an old basement in the side field from a house long gone. I continue to
ask question about my neighborhood and the history and adventure it has seen in its
past. It’s a learning experience and just adds fun to the land and area.
It also makes me appreciate who lived here before me. The knowledge they left has shaped our lives and the care they gave the land left it in great shape. I hope to do the same.