Looking Out My Back Door – July 11, 2014

It looks like those cute foxes that were cavorting in the backyard liked it so much here that they have taken up residence.

Fox on Stone Wall

Fox on Stone Wall

They especially like laying on the stone wall out back and I think they are living somewhere behind that wall.  There’s a low bird bath nearby and I’ve seen them drink from it.  They are cute…but they have to go.  How do you get rid of foxes? 

Why, you ask, do they have to go?  Well shortly before 5 a.m. this morning the most awful sounds were coming in through the open window.  My cat, Graycie, was running like mad from window to window trying to get a glimpse of what was going on.  Apparently the fox had caught themselves some breakfast.  The thought of finding the remains of their breakfast out there somewhere is rather disturbing.  And I know there are coyotes a little further out who might be drawn to the property because the fox are here.  I’m all for the balance of nature, but I don’t want it right here at my doorstep.  So if anyone has any suggestions as to how I can evict these fox, I’d love to hear from you.

Relaxing on the Wall

Relaxing on the Wall

That’s a metal statue of a heron in the pictures above…not real.  The heron stands next to that low birdbath which you can’t see in the photos.

Then, after making some coffee, I sat down in front of the TV to catch up on the news.  I see in the banner at the bottom of the screen “Temperatures in much of the U.S. will plummet next week as the remnants from a typhoon will prompt a summer Polar Vortex.”  What, a summer Polar Vortex?????  It was bad enough dealing with a winter Polar Vortex, now it’s back in the summer?  CBS is calling it a “July Polar Plunge” which will dip into the midwest and east, possibly producing record lows and perhaps severe weather here in the northeast.

And then the banner read “Underground heat of Yellowstone’s super volcano melts road in national park”.  Does not sound good, does it?  Is it ready for a major eruption? 

Morning is my favorite time of the day.  A time to relax, take inventory of what has been done and what needs to be done.  But this morning has been somewhat unsettling.

So, switching gears, how about a recipe? 

Trail Mix

Trail Mix

Now that the humidity has left, I felt I could turn on the oven.  I had a package of trail mix that had golden raisins, jumbo raisins, dried cranberries, sunflower kernels and almonds.  I decided to make oatmeal bars with it.  I only wanted to make an 8 x 8 inch pan and I came up with a recipe that worked out very well.  I used olive oil, not butter, and I only used 1/3 cup of sugar as the raisins and cranberries have their own sweetness.  I will be making this again.

Trail Mix Oatmeal Bars

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (you could use white all purpose if you want)
1/3 cup sugar (could use brown sugar if you want)
1/2 teaspoon baking power
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1    large egg
1/3 cup olive oil
1   cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup trail mix (or any combination of dried fruit, nuts, seeds)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan.  Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in bowl.  Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and add egg, vanilla and oil to the well.  Blend the wet ingredients in the well and then incorporate the dry into it.  This will be a very dry mixture.  Add the oats and trail mix.  The best way to blend this all together is with your hands.  Once combined, dump it into the baking pan and pat it down.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  It doesn’t really need to get brown much.  This is what it looks like when it comes out of the oven:

Trail Mix Oatmeal Bars

Trail Mix Oatmeal Bars

Let it cool 10 minutes or so and then cut into bars. 



The raspberries and blueberries are just about ready to pick (do fox like berries?)  The catbird loves berries.  The mulberry tree has already been stripped bare of it’s berries by the catbird along with the oriole and tanager.

Daylily and Black-Eyed Susan

Daylily and Black-Eyed Susan

And a pretty picture to end this post….


One thought on “Looking Out My Back Door – July 11, 2014

  1. KerryCan

    I wish I had any ideas about getting the foxes to move along–it would make me very unhappy to hear them killing things, too, even of they are beautiful to catch a glimpse of. Your oatmeal bar recipe looks so nice and I like that it is flexible and not too fussy. A good option for using up odds and ends of nuts and berries!


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