Curioser and Curioser… Finding MORE Four-Leaf Clovers!

four four-leaf clovers found by Domesticus

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.

Domesticus with a shamrock and 2 of the 4 four-leaf clovers found that day

Domesticus with a shamrock and 2 of the 4 four-leaf clovers found that day

One soon after that.

And then, a couple of days later, the jackpot. I found fourteen four-leaf clovers in one day!

Clover field in Discovery Park

Clover field up close. I don’t know if there are any in here, but this is what it’s like to look.

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.

Clover field in Discovery Park where Domesticus finds four-leaf clovers

Clover field in Discovery Park. Doesn’t it look magical? There’s probably one in here somewhere.

Clover field and forest in Discovery Park

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!

Domesticus hunts for four-leaf clovers

Clover hunting requires intense concentration and a willingness to hover hunched-over.

Wild lupine in Discovery Park
But even if you don’t find any, you can’t beat the scenery.Tree in Discovery Park where Domesticus goes four-leaf clover hunting



I meant to do my work today

Teresa laptop outdoors


Brown birds

But a brown bird sang in the apple tree


Papilio Rumanzovia Butterfly on Flower

A butterfly flitted across the field



And all the leaves were calling me.


Bee buttercup

The buttercups nodded their shining heads, greeting the bees who came to call



And I asked a lizard the time of day, as he sunned himself on the moss-grown wall.



The wind went sighing over the land, tossing the grasses to and fro



A rainbow held out its shining hand


So what could I do

So what could I do


But laugh, and go

But laugh, and go.

–I Meant to Do My Work Today
by Richard Le Gallienne (1866-1947)





I Found a Four-Leaf Clover! What Does It Mean?

Four leaf clover

The real four-leaf clover I found, photographed with background added by BIgfoot.


We were walking on a woodsy trail in Discovery Park, Bigfoot and I. It was overcast and getting ready to rain, as it usually is in Seattle when it is not actually raining. The massive big-leaf maples and alders surrounding us were leafed out for summer, their wide green canopies hiding a gaggle of chirping birds. All the greenness and fresh oxygen, the big, protective trees, even the rain-is-coming low air pressure gave off a feeling of strength and abundance, of peaceful containment and self-sufficiency.

The forest, setting of fairy tales. I have always loved it.

Dark field in Discovery Park

Dark field in Discovery Park

On a trail at Discovery Park with dog

On a trail at Discovery Park

We took an unaccustomed turn on our way back, and off it, Bigfoot spotted what he said had been a trail.

“Let’s go this way,” he said, and headed off. I followed reluctantly.

In fact, it was sort of a narrow path, but you couldn’t really call it a trail.

“Maybe it was a trail, but it isn’t now,” I grumbled. “You know I hate bushwhacking.”

We walked on and soon found ourselves immersed in a giant field of clover.

“I’ve never seen so much clover in one place,” Bigfoot said.

Stretching out for several yards all around us were clover plants of every size and variety, large and small, some deep green, some a lighter green, and others with white inner markings. We were literally “in clover,” and now I could see how the expression came about. Out of the woods, you stumble upon a clearing filled with rich, green shamrocks. Life is easy, after all.

I bent down to examine the different types, and as I always do in a clover patch, searched for the elusive lucky one. I did see something that looked like it might have four leaves, so I reached down to part it from the thicket of surrounding plants. Usually the magical apparent four-leaf clover disappears when you do this, its fourth leaf turning out to belong to a neighbor.

But this time–I couldn’t believe it—the fourth leaf didn’t go away. I reached down farther and plucked its stem.

It was! A real four-leaf clover!

“Look!” I cried, holding up my prize to Bigfoot. “I hope it brings me luck! Do you think it means anything?”

“Think about what you were doing when you found it,” Bigfoot said.

I was walking. So what?

“You weren’t just walking, you were forging your own path. Think about what we were talking about.”

Big trees, Little Domesticus

Big trees, Little Domesticus

We had been talking about an email I had just sent to someone complaining about an attractive job I interviewed for, but am unlikely to get. And the recipient of my long-winded, self-pitying email had replied with the same words that Bigfoot has repeated to me many times: It doesn’t matter. You’re better off on your own. Don’t get a job, keep freelancing. You have valuable skills. You can do it!

But I’m not so sure. The security of a job appeals to me the same way a clearly-marked trail does. It’s no guaranty that something won’t go wrong. But it beats bushwhacking.

“I wasn’t forging my own path, I was forced onto it,” I say in answer to Bigfoot. Which is the case with freelancing too. Without a job, I am forced to try it. Though without Bigfoot’s encouragement, I probably would have left this bushwhacking path for a job–any job–by now. I’d probably be working at Starbucks. Instead, I’m giving this dark path full of unknown perils a chance.

Still, I hope the four-leaf clover brings me a job. At least, I think I do.

But instead, it strangely seems to be pointing me toward a freelance career.

The logo I chose recently for my new freelance business website is a shamrock. Shamrock is simply the Irish word for a regular three-leaf clover.

In designing the website’s logo, I looked at symbols, I looked at initials, I looked at abstract designs, and nothing appealed. I couldn’t even think of an image I wanted, until the shamrock popped into my head. It just seemed right, somehow. I thought about using a four-leaf clover instead, but it seemed like cheating. It seemed to imply I was lucky, or worse, that I thought I was special.

I downloaded some stylized shamrock images, but they didn’t look right. So I plucked a real clover, which I also found in Discovery Park, brought it home, and had Bigfoot take a picture of it and design a logo. AND HERE IT IS.

But now I’ve found a  four-leaf clover.

My clover is being pressed in the fold of a tissue inside a heavy cookbook with an even heavier atlas on top of it. After it’s fully dried, I’ll probably put it in some sort of enclosure and  keep it on my desk.

As for my website, I’m not sure if I should replace the shamrock with the new four-leaf or not. The idea seems less pretentious now that it’s real.

Maybe it would bring me luck.

Maybe I should stop thinking about luck and get busy writing.

What do you think? I’m open to suggestions.

That’s the way of the freelancer.

Bunny in Discovery Park--He eats clover.

Bunny in Discovery Park–He eats clover.