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

Surrey monitoring traffic as vehicles again clog city streets

Compared with city’s 2019 weekly average, deepest volume reduction was in late March with up to 46 per cent less vehicles

Art’s Scarecrow Festival to return in September

Sixth annual event will be different than previous events because of the pandemic

SPCA partners with Crime Stoppers

Many call in to the SPCA, but want to remain anonymous: Eccles

Police ask for help to identify suspect in alleged Surrey break-and-enter

Surrey RCMP say two men ‘kicked down the front door’ of the home

‘Best of Cloverdale’ contest returns

Voters can cast ballots once a day until Sept. 5; enter to win $250 gift card for Save-On-Foods

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

B.C. announces multi-year plan to double treatment beds for youth with addiction

This will bring the total number of new beds specific to those 12 to 24 years old to 247 province-wide

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Man wanted for ramming police car and almost hitting bystanders in Abbotsford

Police say Lorne Guilbault ‘engages in high-risk criminal driving behaviour’

Wedding party bear sprayed at Okanagan campsite irks locals

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Paramedics fired for allowing patient to crawl for treatment on Downtown Eastside: court documents

The man spent three days in intensive care and three months recovering in hospital from sepsis

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

Most Read