Here is another look at Wild Carrot, aka Queen Anne's Lace, Daucus carota. If all those names are not enough, today we'll use another--Bird's Nest Weed.
BNW is an alien biennial species with the carrot-like taproot forming the first year. I pulled up a second year plant that had already gone by--its taproot was all dried out. A first year root will be more like the carrot we know. At that time, it's more like a storage device.
From the Handbook of Nature Study:
"The wild carrot is known in some localities as the "bird's nest weed" because the maturing fruit clusters, their edges curving inward, look like little birds' nests."
I watched a very moving and inspirational The National Parks: America's Best Idea Episode 1 by Ken Burns while finishing up this post. See PBS for more information on this series.
Comstock, Anna Botsford. Handbook of Nature Study. New York, 1911. 544. Web. Google Book Search. 27 Sep 2009.