Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday, 5 June 2023

Meeting an Echinda in the Dryandra Woodland National Park, Western Australia

He wasn't waiting for anyone to take his photo -  this hurrying bundle of spines. We have just returned from a couple of nights in the Dryandra Woodland National Park, just over 2 hours from where we live in the south west of Western Australia. 

We had a quick visit during Easter, but wanted to return again for a longer stay. Unfortunately we needed to come home after only two nights due to weather reports forcasting heavy rain and thunderstorms. We were dissapointed to cut our trip short, but glad we came home early as it has been raining and blowing ever since. You can see some of our earlier trip by clicking here. - Time Out in The Dryandra bushland-April 2023

In case you didn't recognise him - this bundle of spines in the picture is an Australian echidna - Tachyyglossus Aculeatus - just one of the creatures you might be lucky to see walking in the Dryandra bushland.  

There are a number of marked loop walking tracks in Dryandra ranging from 1km to 12.5km, with varying degrees of difficulty - from level and easy slopes to steep rocky slopes. Walkers please be aware of your own capabilities, wear good walking shoes and a hat, and carry water. 

And whilst echidnas are fairly common, they blend into the surrounds so easily you need to be on the lookout. When they hear you approach they more than likely will roll up into a ball and stay still. You can't see me! 

There are two types of echidna (pronounced i-kid-na) – the Long-beaked Echidna (native to New Guinea), and the Short-beaked echidna (found in Australia). So the one in Western Australia is the short-beaked echidna.

After taking a couple of closeup snaps I moved away and he cautiously lifted his head and then high-tailed it out of there off through the bush. I got ahead of him, and crouched down, and he almost ran straight into me, at the last minute ducking behind the tree I was crouching behind. 

You can see his long snout in this picture. Echidnas have a long sticky tongue about 15 cm long which is used for slurping up ants, worms and insect larvae. 

Here are a few fun facts from Brisbane Kids website. 

  • The echidna and the Australian platypus are the only living egg-laying mammal species. They lay one egg at a time. 
  • The Short-beaked Echidna is featured on the Australian 5cent piece.
  • Echidnas ranges from 35-52 cm in length and can weigh up to 6 kg.
  • Echidna’s spines are actually long, tough, hollow hair follicles. They also have shorter fur to keep them warm. 
  • When under threat, they will roll up into a ball of radiating spines to protect themselves or dig themselves to safety.
  • The echidna’s scientific name, Tachyglossus actually means ‘fast tongue.’
  • Echidnas have claws for digging. 
  • Echidna babies are called ‘puggles.’ (such a cute name!)
  • Echidnas have been known to live for up to 50 years in captivity, and 45 years in the wild.
One other thing I learnt about them on the weekend that I hadn't really considered before.... Echidnas can walk very fast despite their short legs and they wobble as they walk - my excuse for the blury quills on my pics - that and the low light. 

And in case you were wondering: Are hedgehogs and echidnas in the same family?  In spite of echidnas' outward resemblance to hedgehogs, the two animals are not related and belong to separate mammalian orders. Britannica.com

And a few more facts from the net:  a-z-animals.com/animals/echidna/

Here are a few more facts I found on the net - 

We stayed at the 
Gnaala Mia campground, and did a couple of walks, as well as the 23km Darwinia Drive that has marked stopping points, from where we did a bit of bush wandering hoping to see echidna's and the elusive numbat. (unfortunately we didn't see any this time around, but think it might have been too cold) 

There are two campgrounds suitable for caravans, camper trailers and tents, and there are cottages and group facilities at the the Lions Dryandra Woodland Village.  The campgrounds have no power or water, but do have basic camp kitchens with BBQ and long drop toilets. Please take your rubbish awayt with you. Minimal cost applies.  Each site has a picnic table and camp fire ring (some wood is supplied). 

And the setting is beautiful. 

I jumped out of bed in my jarmies, a thick coat and my ugg boots to take a few pics of the fog through the eucalypt trees in the morning light, and then jumped straight back into bed to warm up again. So cold. But we had beautiful weather for bushwalking, and a campfire at night to toast marshmallows - if you sit quietly you might have a Woylie come into your camp! 

And of course there were wildflowers - Banksias mainly - but that will be for another time. 

You might light to look at some of my previous posts about Dryandra: 

Thank you so much for stopping by. I highly recommend a visit to Dryandra - only about 2 hours drive from Perth. 

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 
I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!


    1. Hello Jill!

      First of all, thank you for visiting my blog!

      Interesting, I find what you say about the hedgehogs. I've never heard of them myself, let alone seen one.
      Here in Germany I only know white-breasted hedgehogs (Erinaceus roumanicus) extinct / lost in 2020 according to the Red List. The brown-breasted hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) is found almost all over the country.

      I love your foggy picture!

      Best regards


      1. Thank you for visiting Anne and your comments. However these are echidnas not hedgehogs, a completely different animal family. Enjoy your week.

    2. Hello Jill,
      Your camp trip sounds nice except for having to leave early due to the weather. The Echidna is a cute critter, I see the cute long snout and his eyes. I think your critter photos are wonderful. Love the foggy image too. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, enjoy your day and have a happy week ahead. PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

    3. Your camp trip sounds like it was fun. I loved the photos you took of the echidna. The foggy image is also atmospheric.

    4. Echidnas are such fun and unique animals to observe.

    5. Coffee is brewing, it's early in the morning here... a good time to read, Jill. And you give me a journey in thoughts in this bushland with this very interesting report of this animal. I never heard before of Echidnas! What fascinating nature there is in Australia.

      Thank you for sharing, Thank you being part of MosaicMonday
      Have a wonderful week.
      Hugs by Heidrun

    6. Echidna’s action of rolling up into a ball as well as its face is so cute. I’ve learned a lot about echidna..

    7. aww...so unique critter...
      I never seen it in nature...

    8. Fascinating! You got some fabulous shots!
      Thank you for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2023/06/power-tower-nearer-and-clearer.html

    9. I've never heard of this animal but it is intriguing! How amazing to get to see one and get such good photos. I hope you get to camp again soon. We are starting to have afternoon showers so it's tricky getting out all day.

      1. we have many intruiging and unique animals in Australia!

    10. Look at that little fellow!!

    11. The echidna is very interesting. I love the design on the coin.

    12. Wow. Such an interesting thing to see let alone capture it with your camera. You always have the best adventures. Sorry for all the weather spoilage.

    13. Hi Jill, that's another incredibly interesting report, because we don't see echidnas here. Thanks for pointing out the pronunciation, I would have pronounced that totally wrong. I will probably not come to this corner of our world again in this life, so I am all the more happy to be able to experience it with you.
      Thank you for this contribution to Nature Thursday and best regards - Elke

      1. Hi Elke, thankyou for stopping by. I have been unable to comment on your blog posts unfortunately. i have tried several times, but I don't know what the problem is. I am so sorry.

    14. Dear Jill,
      what a pity that your holiday was interrupted by bad weather - but the fog photo looks magical - and the tachyglossus aculeatus is extremely sweet!
      All the best and have a nice June 🌻🐝🦋!

    15. ...your Echidnas looks a bit like our porcupine.


    I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.