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April 12, 2009

along the Horn Hollow Trail
Carter Caves, Kentucky
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Update: I've confirmed that this wildflower is a Wild Geranium, I never knew we had such a plant in the Eastern Kentucky forests. According to my book The Wildflowers of Tennessee, this plant also is known as Astringent Root as the roots are tannin-rich and was once used to stop bleeding. In the Appalachian Mountains, the plant was known as Alum Root and was used to treat 'flux', a disease that affected children. 'West Virginia Medicinal Plants, A Field Guide' states that a tea made from the leaves has been used for digestive disorders and preparations from different parts of the plant have been used to treat hemorrhoids, external bleeding, minor wounds, and sore throats to name just a few. Apparently, it was one of our early pharmaceuticals in the time of the pioneers.

Carter Caves is a unique area, in parts of it I feel like I'm in Southwestern Virginia especially when the water is running good after a rain. We hiked the Horn Hollow Trail because the lady at the Visitor Center said a lot of folks reported good results with wildflowers in that area and she was right. The first half of the trail had lots of early ones, we photographed maybe 6 or 8 different varieties and noticed that many more seemed to be just a week or two away from bloom.

After the hike, we stopped at the lodge dining room for dinner. They have a buffet on Saturday night for about $13.00 plus drink and the dining room was moderately busy. It was a really nice dinner, I noticed there were a lot of families there and one large table with several mothers and a lot of kids. After we were finished, the waitress came over and said a fellow diner had sent his Easter greetings and had picked up the dinner tab for everyone sitting in the restaurant. Wow.

I sent my thanks and Easter greeting back to him. I only thought these things happened in movies.