How to find a four-leaf clover: It’s spring and I have my mojo back. Not only did I find my first four-leaf clover of the year, I discovered two more, along with a five-leaf clover the next day.
But it didn’t just happen. It took more than a month of looking for me to find my first of 2014. While still in L.A., I spent about an hour one Saturday afternoon wandering around the Robertsdale Public Works compound. There were countless trips around the Mississippi house staring at fluffy green patches around the yard. A couple of weeks ago, my mother found a four-leaf clover in our backyard. It wasn’t until late last week that I was able to join the club.
Finding four-leaf clovers is more about technique than luck or skill, at least for me. Sure, even a blind squirrel will find a nut occasionally. Likewise, blind luck will allow some folks to locate the mysterious good luck charms. For me, once in the right mindset, it’s not unusual for me to collect a dozen or more at a time.
With a few techniques and a little bit of knowledge, you too can give away bouquets of a dozen four-leaf clovers.
The first step in finding four-leaf clovers is not to look for them. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but hang with me. Instead of looking for clovers with four leaves, look for something different. Imagine a sheet of paper printed with numbers. The vast majority of the numbers are 3s, but there are also a few 4s. So how would you locate the 4s? Would you scan the page, row by row, examining closely each character? Or would you glance at the page and look for the characters made up of straight lines (4s) instead of curved lines (3s)?
To find four-leaf clovers, you look for something different. There are no straight lines in a clover patch, but there are differences. Most clovers have three leaves, meaning the angle between the leaves is about 120 degrees. For four-leaf clovers, the angle is reduced to 90 degrees. Standard clover has three leaves the same size. Four-leaf clovers usually have one leaf that is smaller.
It is a right brain, left brain thing. You have to shut down the analytical right side of your brain and let the more artistic left side take over. It takes a while to get into the right mindset, even for me. I will still find myself scanning left to right, counting leaves. You have to slow down a little. Instead of focusing on every leaf, pull back a little and just scan the patch, not really focusing.
When something different jumps out, investigate. Most times, what you think is a fourth leaf is just a well-placed neighbor, or two clovers intertwined. But keep looking for something different and it will stand out.
Once you find your first four-leaf clover, what do you do next? Call friends? Post it on Facebook? Stop looking and organize a celebration party?
No. Once you find one four-leaf clover, the best thing you can do is start looking for more.
Clovers have three leaves. The ones that have four leaves are mutations. If the conditions were right for one mutation, then conditions were probably right for more mutations. So where you find one four-leaf clover, you will most likely find more. Just stay calm and keep looking.
While there are numerous kinds of clover, I personally will only search white clover — the kind with flowers that look like little white pompoms.
There have been studies that claim that for every 10,000 clovers, only one has four leaves. Tradition says that the first three leaves represent faith, hope and love. The fourth one is luck.
But why stop at four? Clovers don’t. Five-leaf clovers are even rarer and the extra appendage is supposed to represent wealth. (I’m still waiting on that part.) The television show Futurama had an episode featuring an incredibly lucky seven-leaf clover. I have found one six-leaf clover. The record is an astonishing 56 leaves on one stem. It was found by Shigeo Obara in Japan in May 2009.
Whether or not you believe they bring luck, four-leaf clovers offer something that is hard to put a price on: peace of mind.
Searching for four-leaf clovers give you a chance to commune with nature for a brief bit, while enjoying the wonderful spring weather.
So go outside and let your mind relax. Listen to the birds. Feel the warm sunshine. Feel the breeze blowing in your hair. And take the time to look. Who knows, you might get lucky.