Getting to know echidnas

The echidnas who poke about my yard seem to cope with any terrain, as I’ve shown you before — climbing fence stays, banks, logs, rocks and steps with ease.

They look awkward as they lumber along on their sturdy legs, but seem to have great balance, as you can see by the way this one lifts rear leg to use its special extended claw to scratch between the spines.

In the past, their spiny backs were what came to mind when I thought of echidnas. Now they share the yard and are frequently close by, I think of their furry legs as well, and their faces more, their cute ears and distinct eyelids.

And I am now very aware that their spines are not all straight bristles, the way a child would draw a hedgehog, but grow in distinctive patterns, rosettes on various body parts — like their tails.

Home — my outdoor learning centre.