Saturday, October 01, 2016

A Snake in the Grass

Many people know that Nancy Lincoln, Abe's mom, died from milk poisoning. Before a weekend trip to Lincoln's boyhood home in Indiana, I was not familiar with the plant that causes this disease. Meat or milk from a cow which has ingested snakeroot is toxic to humans. The plant is also toxic to horses and other animals, but apparently, not cows. Poor Nancy would likely have lived with today's medical intervention.

We hiked a bit about the national and state park, and having learned its appearance, I began noticing it. I wondered its purpose and why it wasn't eradicated. "It should be pulled up," I thought, "Poisonous nasty stuff." I resolved to look for it at our own place when I returned home, worried about my horses.

Here's what I found:

Yep, we not only have snakeroot, we have a hedgerow of it. Little did I know.... 
It just goes to show, don't go judging someone else's snakeroot until you look in your own yard.

"There I grew up." - Abraham Lincoln

Note: Seven deer regularly visit our backyard and eat my hostas and lilies. They apparently know better than to eat snakeweek. 


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