Ticked Off! Invasive Plants and Lyme Disease—A Surprising Connection

Of all the ways to protect ourselves against Lyme disease, planting “this” instead of “that” isn’t usually part of the conversation. And yet, knowing which plants attract disease-carrying ticks can make a difference. Japanese barberry, a non-native ornamental shrub that’s popular for its deer resistance, became established on New England’s post-agricultural lands in the early 1900s. It has invaded our forests, stifling native tree and wildflower regeneration and altering soil chemistry. Extensive research has revealed there is a link between Japanese barberry infestations and blacklegged (aka “deer”) ticks and the causal agent of Lyme disease with which they are infected.

Fox Disrupts New Canaan Woman’s Burial Site for Roadkill

Coming home from church on a Sunday morning three weeks ago, Eloise Killefer spotted a fox outside the gate of her house. “It was the most beautiful fox I had ever seen, and the only fox I had ever seen,” Killeffer said. The sighting didn’t register beyond that—not at first. A self-described animal lover, Killeffer has taken it upon herself to give roadkill a proper burial in the backyard of her house on the corner of Main and Oak Streets. “I have this thing about giving a proper burial to all of God’s little critters, I just think it is the right thing to do,” Killeffer said.