BigToe Blog

Welcome to the BigToe Blog! Here you can “sniff” all sorts of juicy facts about South America. You can view the “toe-clippings” about what we´re doing, thinking and seeing as we run through this extraordinary continent. Join us to meet the amazing wildlife, wildplaces and people that live here. Videos, photos, activity ideas, blogs in English and Spanish are all snoozing below, waiting for you to enter into our world………..

 

 

How to become a Wildlife Detective

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Big Toe Blog, Big Toe Noticeboard, Birds, Waddle on the Wildside | 0 comments

As you skip through the woods, fields or moorland or perhaps view the world from atop of a gnarly oak tree, do you ever wonder….

  • Where do animals hide during the day….?

  • Do animals follow paths, even motorways….?

  • What do they eat…..?

Why not become a WILDLIFE DETECTIVE and start sniffing, watching & feeling for Wild Signs, to find out who has passed by….?

???Look for hair stuck on (more…)

“Have you seen an Anaconda or any other snakes?”

Posted by on May 4, 2013 in Big Toe Blog, Questions, Survival, Wildlife Moment Of The Week | 1 comment

Question from six year old Tommy of Dulverton Somerset, UK.

Thank you for asking Tommy! You´ve asked a very popular question. Lots of people are interested in snakes and the species (types) we are seeing. So here goes……..!

The Answer: NO & YES+ VIDEO BELOW!!!

YES: Now that we are in the Tropics and running through the enormous Amazon Basin we see a snake almost everyday.  Unfortunately, 90% of the time they are squished on the road by the passing traffic.

 

Snakes are fascinating and we both love (more…)

Meeting schools and children along the road…

Posted by on Apr 3, 2013 in Big Toe Blog, Big Toe Noticeboard | 0 comments

One of our favourite parts of the running day:

Running with school children whom we meet along the road; giving presentations about the run and the natural world; meeting with the students, teachers and head teachers and learning more about the countries we´re running through.. (more…)

Tropical explained!

Posted by on Apr 2, 2013 in Big Toe Blog, Smelly Trainer Facts | 0 comments

So far we have run 3,300 miles from the temperate or cold zones in the deep South of South America, full of snow and penguins, through the dry and desertified zones of the sub-tropical belt in Argentina, where water was hard to find and the cactus grew in sandy soil, and today we are officially in the Tropics! But what does it really mean?

Watch this video to explain a little more… :

 

We passed the Tropic of Capricorn and are now between this line and the Tropic of Cancer line. Between the two lines the Equator, that is the middle belt of the Earth . . . and that is (more…)

Question: How tiring is it? Are you getting used to it?

Posted by on Feb 5, 2013 in Big Toe Blog, Questions | 0 comments

Thank you very much 8 year old Tom from Copplestone, Devon, UK,  for your questions! (And learn more by clicking here to read this blog in Spanish !)

Q. 1: How tiring is it?

It’s more tiring than we could ever have imagined!! It’s a bit like you playing football for 4 hours a day, every day, whilst dragging your 10 year-old sister around behind you!! All we want to do is sleep – preferably a very long sleep, like a dormouse or hedgehog that hibernates in the winter!!

At the moment we are in northern Argentina and the temperatures are reaching 40 degrees Celsius in the Southern Hemisphere’s summer. We have therefore (more…)

Relief: In the Andes Rain Shadow.

Posted by on Dec 23, 2012 in Big Toe Blog, Big Toe Noticeboard | 0 comments

Key Words: Precipitation, Pacific Ocean, Chile, Prevailing Wind, Andes, Vapour, Condensation, Glaciers, Adapt, Rain shadow, Relief Rain
For the first part of our expedition we ran through rain and snow in southern Chile. Precipitation is the term used for rain, sleet, hail and snow; any form of water that falls from the sky.
This precipitation begins to form over the Pacific Ocean which lies to the west of Chile. Wind blows from the west collecting moisture from the sea. It travels eastwards as the prevailing wind (the most common wind direction). When air reaches (more…)

Endangered Animals: Patagonian Huemul Deer

Posted by on Dec 9, 2012 in Big Toe Blog, Waddle on the Wildside | 0 comments

Key words: Endangered, habitat, threatened, decomposition, extinct, over-grazing

One evening whilst running over a mountain pass in  southern Chile, with snow on either side of the road, we noticed some mammals grazing on the hillside. We stopped to look through our binoculars and guess what we found: PATAGONIAN HUEMUL DEER!!! (more…)

Poo Glorious Poo!!

Posted by on Dec 9, 2012 in Big Toe Blog, Big Toe Noticeboard | 0 comments

Key word: Decomposition
We spend lots of time looking down as we run, as we need to avoid the boulders and thorns. What we also see is poo- don’t worry not David’s or mine! No, sheep, horse and cattle dung.
Have you ever examined the dung of your local cow or horse? Well you should!
What we find is a whole community, a city if you like of worms, beetles, bugs and all manner of insects. They are busily converting the lovely moist brown stuff into nutrient rich soil. This is called decomposition.
Sometimes you can find grasses and plants already (more…)

Q: Can you speak to birds???!

Posted by on Dec 9, 2012 in Big Toe Blog, Questions | 0 comments

From 12 year old Leila, Montevideo, Uruguay.

“Can you speak to birds?”

Answer: Yes. When we were working in the Eastern Caribbean surveying seabirds, we would get into our kayak at night and paddle to the little islands close to us. Once we were close enough, we would drift on the waves and play the call through a loud speaker of the “Audubon’s Shearwater”, a type/ species of seabird that lays its eggs in the area we were studying. If the shearwater was at home, it would (more…)