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

ICBC stats show Fernie, Crowsnest Highway the most likely locations for collisions in Elk Valley

Drivers most often have collisions in Fernie and along the Crowsnest Hwy. according to ICBC stats

Environment Canada issues thunderstorm outlook for Fernie and surrounding area

Fernie has been issued a thunderstorm outlook from midday Thursday through to Friday morning.

Editorial: slacktivism or activism

The Free Press reporter weighs in on social media movements

Conservation groups call for federal assessment of Teck’s Castle Mine

Concerns revolve around water pollution, habitat loss, and carbon emissions

City of Fernie takes steps to conserve water

Lawn watering restrictions are officially in place throughout the City of Fernie

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Smoker Farms bringing craft-style cannabis to Beaverdell

Husband-wife team growing small-scale cultivations of marijuana

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

Most Read