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

Just Posted

Report of gunshots leads to discovery of deceased male in Campbell River

Police conduct investigation in the south end of Campbell River

Community garden offers learning experience for all

Cedar Elementary converts former playground site into community garden

Wind warning issued for Campbell River

Wind could reach speeds of up to 70km/h: Environment Canada

RCMP Emergency Response Team called in to arrest man at Black Creek General Store

42-year-old Campbell River man facing numerous charges

North Island candidates chime in on climate change, transition from fossil fuels

How do we get off oil and gas without tanking our economy?

VIDEO: B.C. man’s yard comes alive with grizzlies at night

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Suspect hits woman with pipe, jumps into waiting truck in downtown Nanaimo

Police say victim believes ‘vicious assault’ was an attempted purse-snatching

ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Private insurers say claims record monopoly keeps them out

B.C. principal suspended for failing to help student who reported inappropriate touching

Principal didn’t remove student from the teacher’s class nor call the parents within a reasonable time

Port Moody mayor goes back on unpaid leave during sex assault investigation

Rob Vagramov said he intends to return as mayor in three or four weeks

UBC issues statement after instructor tells students to vote for Liberal Party

University says partisan messaging was not intentional

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Most Read