Pass The Salt

Ragwort - bad for horses - essential for moths
Ragwort – bad for horses – essential for moths

You know how, when you’re out in the middle of the ocean and your boats forgets that its main function is to float? Well, you jump onto your life raft and float off into the blue. After a bit, when you feel like a cup of tea and, perhaps, a biscuit or two – you suddenly realise that you left in such a hurry that you forgot to bring any food or water. You know – water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink.

Indeed, although the ocean seems to be full of the stuff, you must not drink any seawater. You see the sea is salty. Yes, I knew you knew that already, but it needs emphasising. There is more salt in sea water than our bodies are designed to handle. So, they can’t – but they do their best and you become more and more dehydrated as you become more and more thirsty in the end you go mad and probably die.

Horses, peacefully grazing in their paddocks, have a similar problem with Ragwort – see today’s picture. They normally won’t touch the stuff – but if there is nothing else to eat, they have to – and they end up with kidney failure and all sorts of other nasties. Meanwhile, Ragwort is an environmentally desirable plant as it is the food source of a large number of butterfly and moth grubs – who would all disappear without it.

Nothing is straightforward, is it?

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