May 2018 Update - Wow okay so in writing this I'm updating this for the first time in 9 years. To answer a FAQ - why are the pictures so bad? Because I wrote this Instructable when I was 11 years old, and had no better camera at the time. Now I have a 16 Megapixel camera, and would love to update the images. Unfortunately, I do not know where my clover collection has ended up. I don't think it survived us moving house. When I have time (I'm very busy nowadays) I will try again to find the clover collection, and try to take better images. Nine years on haha.
I found my first 4 leaf clover on the 17th of July 2009, and it only took me five minutes!
This was about the fifth time I'd gone looking with my dad. My dad said the chances of finding one were very, very poor as we were only going to be out for about half an hour. We went to an extended bit of a cemetery where there are only about 8 graves and millions of clovers! This is where I normally go looking because there are so many clovers!
Note that if you do find a 4 leaf clover, look around the place where you find it.
All of the mutant clovers pictured were all found within 100 square feet!
Step 1: Peaches!!!
If you are going to look with someone else (in my case, my dad) tell them to look in a different place from you. Also, think of a codeword that you will say if you find one.
I told my dad to say peaches if he found a 4 leaf clover and that I would do the same if I found a 4 leaf clover. Using codewords is a good way to communicate with the person you are looking with.
After five minutes of looking, I found a four leaf clover and yelled out 'peaches!'. But how did I find it in five minutes when sometimes I search up to 2 hours and find nothing?
Lets see :-)
Step 2: Good Searching Skills
Four leaf clovers can crop up anywhere so it's just luck if you find a 4 leaf clover.
To find one, you need good searching skills and good eyes. People say that finding a four leaf clover is a luck omen as there is only 1 four leaf clover in 10000 three leafers!
Always bring a book with you in case you find one. Don't bother bringing a magnifying glass with you because that achieves nothing. You will spend ages and ages looking in one patch if you look at each and every clover atom!
The trick is to just glance down as you look. That way, all though you don't see every clover, gives you more chances of finding one because you see more patches.
If you have good searching skills, you will find one much easier.
Remember: Looking at every clover through a magnifying glass is a waste of time!
Step 3: Sets of Three
The 3 leaf clover has three leaves (of course) and is a member of the white clover plant 'Trifolium repens'.
A good tactic for finding a four leaf clover is to think about the sets. Each 'normal' clover has a set of three leaves. A four leaf clover has, well, a set of four leaves.
Just think of the sets. Say each set you see in your mind as you pass the clover. If you are lucky, you will come across something that doesn't look like a set of three.
Don't get your hopes up. It is probably just a three leaf clover, but with another three leaf clover underneath it.
Wriggle it around. If it is still a 4 leaf clover, pick it. If it is still a 4 leaf clover when you pick it, you found one! Lucky you!
If you follow the sets tactic, any mutant will really stick out! Even the smallest four leafer!
Step 4: 5, 6, 7, 8 Leafers
Mutant clovers do not stop at four leaves. Five leaf clovers are possible, as well as six leafers, seven leafers, and maybe even eight leafers!
The world record is a 21 leaf clover. Twenty-one leaves seems beyond any mutation. It must be a freak! You also find that the more leaves, the thicker the stalk. I found my first 5 leafer on the 19th of July!
If you look on page 127 in the Guinness book of world records 2009, you will see the stalk of an eighteen leaf clover
Step 5: Mix and Muddle
The number of leaves on a clover isn't the only type of mutant clover there is. There are many, many other mutations that occur with clovers. I heard somewhere about a spade leafed clover. That will be one mutant, but a spade four leafed clover would be two mutations mixed together!
A clover holds so many possibilities. And so many mutations that can be mixed! You may have a five leaf clover with one leaf in a mitten shape, two spade leaves, one upside down leaf and one 'rust' coloured leaf. (Not that all that can't happen)!
But the chances of finding a clover like that would be almost minus!
Step 6: AHH! TWO LEAF CLOVER!
Not to worry. Probably one leaf fell off. Besides, two leaf clovers don't necessarily bring bad luck. In theory, a two leaf clover could be possible, but it would be very hard to prove it was a two leaf clover.
Also you could say a 1 leaf clover exists. But that would be as rare as a five leafer!
Step 7: I Found a 4 Leaf Clover!
After you've done the tactics, you may have found one. If you are lucky, you would have. If you do find one, and you've made sure it's a REAL 4 leaf clover, scream your codeword. When I screamed my codeword, my dad thought I was joking.
After you've screamed your codeword, if you want to keep it, pick it and read the next step. If you don't really care, just leave it and don't read the next step.
Step 8: Preserving the Clover
This is probably the hardest bit of four leaf clover finding. When you first pick the clover, put it in the book, memorize the page number that you shut it (I shut it on page 35) and hold it spine upwards so that the clover doesn't fall out.
When you get home, get out a big and heavy book (I used harry potter and the order of the phoenix) and put it on top of the book you shut the clover in and put it in the airing cupboard for at least a week.
Clear some space in the airing cupboard and tell everyone to be careful. Maybe make a warning sign and stick it on the airing cupboard door.
Step 9: Frame the Clover
In the week when you are preserving the clover, buy a small frame of about two inches by five inches.
After the week, carefully take the big book off the little book with the clover and then take the book out spine upwards. Flip to the page with the clover on (35 in my case) and take the clover out. Slip the clover into the little frame then keep it as a good luck charm and show it all to your friends.
Now you've read this, why don't you go out there looking for 4 leaf clovers? There's millions out there. Hundreds of millions!
In the past two days I've put these skills to the test and found 11 more 4 leaf clovers, and a 'spade' leaf clover.
CatC15 made it!