Remember how amazed I was when I found a four-leaf clover?
I was so thrilled. They’re rare–just one in 10,000 clovers has that lucky extra leaf.
What does this mean for me, I wondered. Is it a sign?
I cherished my clover, pressed it carefully in a heavy book to preserve it forever, my one and only four-leaf clover.
But a few days later, Bigfoot and I returned to the park and I found another one!
A couple of days after that, I found four, pictured above, and partly below.
One soon after that.
And then, a couple of days later, the jackpot. I found fourteen four-leaf clovers in one day!
Talk about not believing your luck. I called Discovery Park to see if they knew about a clover lode or had heard of other people finding them. Nope. They wanted me to bring one in so their naturalists could study it.
No way! I’m not letting some naturalist paw over one of my precious four-leaf clovers and break it!
As it turned out, I wouldn’t need any help from a naturalist in doing just that.
But at the time, all I could think was These clovers are mine!
Except for the one I gave to my friend Kim’s daughter Marian. I ran into Marian and her family when they were out for a walk and I was on my way home after my motherlode find. Of course Marian was all Mom can we go to Discovery Park and look for four-leaf clovers? Can we go Mom right now pleeeease?!
She didn’t ask if she could have one of mine, and I didn’t offer her one. The thrill is finding it yourself, or so I told myself. But then I got home and looked my handful of clovers and thought, Who are you kidding? Marian would love to have one of these, and here you sit with fourteen, plus all the others you’ve already found. So I walked over to her house and gave her one. I hope it brings her luck in clover hunting, and in everything else.
What to do with all my clovers? Being a methodical cataloguer, I have them pressed in Rodale’s Basic Natural Foods Cookbook with sticky tabs indicating the date and number found.
All was fine until I read online that after a week or two, you’re supposed to take them out and add a few drops of green food coloring to prevent the leaves from turning brown. I tried it on one, unfortunately my nicest specimen (four-leaf clovers tend to be a misshapen lot, with the fourth leaf often shriveled or hidden behind the others), with disastrous results. My dye didn’t come with a dropper, so I shook a drop onto the clover, but it just sat there in a big bubble on the leaf. So I shook some more dye onto the sheet of paper where I had placed the clover and tried to hand-paint it on. I tried to be careful, but the fourth leaf came disconnected.
After that it got to be like Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory. I rummaged around the closet until I found some Superglue I could use to try to reattach the leaf to the clover. The Superglue was old, and no matter how hard I squeezed, nothing came out.
Except…What what was that wet stuff getting all over my hands? Oh, no! Superglue, from a crack in the brittle old tube I had just squozen to death.
But at least I had some glue. I picked up the fourth leaf to apply it, but since my hands were so sticky, the leaf stuck to them and when I tried to peel it off…Ruined!
Was my luck ruined along with it?
Rain and work interfered with my clover hunting over the next few days, but yesterday I stopped by the park on my way back from an estate sale to collect some regular three-leaf shamrocks use in future dyeing experiments. And it happened–I found another four-leaf! Rather small, especially the fourth leaf, but beautiful to my eyes.
Bigfoot, on the other hand, found a big one–wouldn’t you know it?–a truly magnificent specimen, his first. It’s catalogued and awaiting processing. Well, maybe processing. But only if I get my technique down with the shamrocks.
Oh, and that estate sale? More about that later, but suffice it to say, I lucked out!