This story has ALREADY proven to be quite circuitous. So let me start from the top...of my news feed.

Yes, I got a notification in my news feed from WJAC-TV about poison hemlock, a deadly invasive, species moving into that station's coverage area. I thought that was odd since it sounded like a Jacksonville, Florida station and I had no idea why it would be shown to me in my Facebook feed. Well, it's NOT Jacksonville; it's Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

And the head-scratching continued when I looked up the definition of a "class B noxious weed," which is how poison hemlock is classified. That inquiry sent me to a website based in Washington State.

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But since I thought that notification was more local, I looked into poison hemlock to see if it was a big problem in Kentucky. Well, it IS a problem but not just for Kentucky. In fact, the USDA paints a pretty blue picture of a pretty big problem. It's in all but three states

If you're a manager or owner of livestock, you probably already know the potential hazards to your animals. But I am neither and did NOT know.

See, when I was a kid, I thought hemlock was a FICTIONAL concoction of some sort. I'd see old movies or TV shows that had characters using hemlock to do their nefarious deeds. You'd usually see an unsuspecting victim drinking it from a fancy chalice that had steam billowing over its brim.

Because it was essentially so JOKEY, for lack of a better term, I thought it was made up.

But no, it is NO joke.

Kentucky Forage News provides a grim LITANY of maladies that befall livestock that ingest the nasty weed, so yes, it is taken QUITE seriously and should be.

And after seeing a picture of it, it occurred to me that I have seen it and on a number of occasions.

I used to think the only plants that were bad news were poison ivy and a venus flytrap. And, again, I always thought venus flytraps were fake because they looked animatronic, like at Disneyworld.

You know, I was terrible in biology. I wish I could go back in time and turn this in.

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