Walt Hardinge and his clover-finder Jacquie. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Walking his dog Jacquie to the Agassiz-Harrison Observer newsroom office, Walt Hardinge found a four-leaf clover. Looking at the collection of foliage in his hand, it’s clear he found more than one.

“Seven actually,” Hardinge said, sorting through the clovers on a bench in Pioneer Park. “I just counted them before I got to the door.”

Most of them were the famed four-leaf clovers, a harbinger of luck and preternatural sight. But a few were five-leaf clovers, which Hardinge likes to call “Rose Clovers.” And others were what the 58-year-old Agassiz resident has nicknamed “Papillon Clovers,” or butterfly clovers.

“They’re usually the ones that have four leaves that are almost the same size and then a tiny one, like this one here,” he said, holding up the clover. “By the time you press them and they dry, they look like a butterfly. I can’t say that’s an official name or anything, but it sounded good at the time.”

In the last month or so, Hardinge has found more than 219 clovers with four leaves or more.

“I find the darn things everywhere,” he said. “I went to the mailbox the other day … and I found one. Not even looking.”

QUIZ: How Irish are you?

Although Hardinge’s clover boom has only been recent, his history with four-leaf clovers started long ago, when he was an 11-year-old boy growing up in Scarborough, Ont.

One day, he was sitting on the grass in front of a neighbour’s house, brushing his hands through a patch of clover.

“I thought to myself, I wonder if four-leaf clovers actually exist,” he recalled. “And just for the heck of it, I started brushing my hands through the clovers and seeing if I could find one. Sure enough, I actually did.”

Hardinge ran inside to press his lucky find, and over the course of the next few weeks found 10 more. He pressed all his clovers in a copy of the Guinness Book of World Records, and then forgot about finding clovers for a while.

Over the course of the next 47 years, in rough points during Hardinge’s life, he would think back to the 11 four-leaf clovers he had once found — they became lost at some point during childhood — but didn’t expect to find anymore.

Then, in the spring of this year, Hardinge and his fiancé took Jacquie for a walk to the recreation centre. Just like he did 47 years ago, Hardinge brushed his hands through the clovers in the grass. And just like that, Hardinge found another four-leaf clover.

Since then, Hardinge has been finding groups of four-, five- and even six-leaf clovers. (On May 11, Hardinge found his first eight-leaf clover.) But with all that luck, Hardinge decided it was time to give some of it away. He has been handing out groups of three clovers to strangers and friends in an effort to share the good fortune.

“It’s amazing the joy I see in people’s faces when I give them one,” he said.

READ ALSO: Gifted car takes away fear for strapped single mom

Hardinge plans to keep 11 four-leaf clovers for himself, to replace the ones he lost, and 11 “exotics,” but the rest he is giving away.

His father had a saying “that life was a little bit like a big pond. And if you’re brave, you will cast a pebble into that pond and see where the ripples go,” he explained.

“I think this is my own way of throwing a pebble into a pond, only now I’ve got about 200 of them that I’m giving way.

“Two hundred pebbles I’m throwing into that gigantic pond. And we’ll see what happens.”



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pacific Coastal won’t open until community is ready

The company has suspended operations until further notice

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

B.C. drive-in theatre shuts down to await appeal of car limits, concession rules

Business owner Jay Daulat voluntarily closed down the theatre awaiting a health ministry decision

Most Read