Lyme Disease and Barberry Bushes

Well we survived Columbus day weekend and had a fantastic time. Correction, Laurie and the kids had a fantastic time. They went to Goodwin State forest to explore and do some hiking. From what I understand they explored the one trail they had not been on before. The “red” trail which takes them down to Governor’s Island. It is really just a landing pad and I don’t believe there is a way to get to the island itself as boats are not allowed in Pine Acres Lake adjacent to the trail system. Laurie did say that if you venture on to this particular trail system, prepare to do some jumping from rock to rock. The trail is littered with huge stones and while beautiful, may not be the safest place to take any small children.

My day was spent at the local emergency room. I woke up with a wicked rash on my leg and pain in my knee. As it turns out I tested positive for Lyme Disease which is a huge problem in this area. It seems to be a when and not if situation for at some point contracting it. Several years ago when we bought our house I decided to save a little money on landscaping. Now, I am no expert on trees and bushes so I didn’t really know what to look for. I went into the woods with my lovely wife in tow and we dug up a few bushes to plant near our front door. As it turns out we planted Barberry bushes which I quickly read up on. Barberry bushes are the most invasive bush in the area and harbor ticks. There is an active campaign to rid the area of these bushes through controlled burns. They are fast growing and spreading bushes that are actually kinda cool with red berries. Nevertheless they are considered an invasive species and dangerous for their hibernation of ticks.

The Barberry bushes we planted are still adorning the front steps as other projects took priority. I suppose I have myself to blame for the Lyme Disease and will need to look into the path to recovery from this. From what I understand it can be a lifelong condition but it has given me motivation to get those bushes out of there.