When I was growing up, my grandparents had a summer home on Echo Lake in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. It was an idyllic place on a dirt road surrounded by fields of wildflowers and woods. The view was much like that from the postcard below taken just up the road from their place. (At one time, there was a postcard taken from the road in front of their house with a field of wildflowers and their white fence, but I guess I no longer have that.)
As a young kid, I used to spend part of the summer up there and would pick bouquets of wildflowers for my grandmother when we went on walks. When I went to college, I chose Lyndon State College because we used to pass through Lyndonville on our way to Echo Lake (plus they had a meteorology program). While I was going to LSC, I spent my summers working in the Ethan Allen factory in Island Pond until I got laid off and then I worked for my grandfather tending to the chores on their land. It was a charmed life.
One of my favorite memories of my visits was looking for four-leaf clovers in their vast lawn. My grandmother and I would spend hours going from clover patch to clover patch. I remember how the bumblebees would fly to each of the clover flowers. At that time, I was more interested in clovers than bees, but I thought it was neat how the frantically worked each flower.
We’d put the clovers we found in books to press them and dry them, then we’d paste some of them onto small pieces of paper and write the date on the back and I’d put one or two in my wallet for good luck. I still carry one with her handwriting that is dated August 26, 1973. I’ve always attributed my good fortune in life to the luck of the four-leaf clovers.
Last year, I planted some clover in the bee garden and only a little came up. This year, it all came up and half the garden is covered in clover. The bees have been loving it. It also gave me an opportunity to renew my clover hunting skills and I’ve been finding 4, 5 and 6 leaf clovers. I’ve introduced my neighbor’s young son and his friend to the fun of looking for clovers. I’ve taught them that when you find one, there’s usually another close by. See if you can find the 4-leafed ones in the pictures below (click on the picture for a larger version).
This year, I gave 4-leaf clovers to a couple of graduating high schoolers to give them luck as they go on to new adventures. I also gave one to my son who just graduated from college. He came home the other day and said that his wallet had gone through the wash and the clover got ruined. No problem! We went out into the backyard and I found a new one, put it on a paper and he was all set!
If you’ve ever tasted clover honey, you know how delicious it is. My honey is a “mutt honey” not a varietal since my bees have many different plants to sample and I don’t have fields of clover for them (yet). I’m hoping to get more growing in my lawn next year, but that still won’t be enough. I know some people look at clover as an invasion of their pristine bluegrass and use herbicides to kill it. I look at a lawn with clover and think of my grandmother and all the lucky bees.