Untamed Wildlife



Ever since I was little, the wildlife of Oakleigh has fascinated me. Whether it’s the towering redwoods or the little salamanders found beneath logs and stones, it all amazes me. There are countless species of birds, plants and animals, and each has a story.  When I was a young boy, my feet would rarely touch the ground. I would always be up in the Oaks, for which Oakleigh gained its name. Dozens and dozens of them twist their way up to the sky, some only a few years old, others over one hundred. Recently one of the largest blew over in a storm, thankfully not hitting anything important. It is always sad to see them go, but once they’ve fallen, you can see their hollowed out centers where owls, possums and even raccoons had lived. The raccoons are often considered a nuisance, but I think they’re incredible creatures. They steal food and dig through the trash, but they make it a comical sight due to their clumsy nature and not so subtle secrecy.


Another notorious animal on the property, that quite recently scared me, is the Possum. Just the other night, a possum had crawled inside the house and was eating the cat’s food. It had sharp pointy teeth and beady eyes and seemed unafraid of me. I managed to get a picture before shooing it out with a broom. Boy was it BIG though. It freaked me out quite a bit. Nothing quite contrasts the ugliness of the possum like the Aloe Garden. Beautiful flowers in the early winter and spring rise out of thorny masses of leaves and show off their amazing colors. Started long ago by my father with just a few seeds, it has since blossomed into something of an art piece. The entire garden covers about a half acre, with aloes and succulents from all over East Africa. The aloes add a vibrant touch that compliments the grey and green of the oaks forest surrounding them.

Feel free to contact me through the comments or email (coletobias@gmail.com) if you want to learn more. Have a great day.





One thought on “Untamed Wildlife

  1. Interesting reading, Tobias, and it shows not only your writing skill but your love of Oakleigh and your extended family that have provided you and your family such a warm and loving environment.
    Wish I had been an owl in a tree watching in the darkness of early morning, you and Curran trying to build a dam, futilely (if that’s a word!), only to return later to see your work ravaged by the water.
    All told, a very enjoyable ride that you have provided us, and I don’t wonder that your parents are proud — so is this grandfather!! with love — skip


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