January Challenge

The gale winds of yesterday abated to a moderate breeze this morning — still plenty cold — having wimped out yesterday, the Western Flyer and I were determined to do a few miles and possibly find some photogenic boulders

Of questionable photogenticity (spell check is unhappy with that spelling, if its even a word) is this boulder along CSX railroad just across the tracks from JR’s Recyclables

Ridden past this erratic for years and never stopped to actually look at it — until today

Not entirely sure what rock type this is — has a sugary texture much like a quartzite, but with smaller dark mineral inclusions

Darker grains contain iron which is staining the rock as they chemically weather

Erratic of former bedrock that had been fractured at some point in its history and intruded with a differing mineral matter

No doubt it is part of the Canadian Shield and was transported here by the Ice Age Glaciers as was the previous boulder

Erratic because they differ in composition from the underlying bedrock, which here is sedimentary sandstone, limestone, shale and, of course, coal, for which Vermilion county was well known for many years

In the geologic past, Illinois was in tropical latitudes and fern tree forests grew along the delta of the then Michigan river which crossed here from the northeast

The trees were the source of the coal seams

Many more boulders abound, some larger, some smaller, some very photogenic, others pretty much blech

Many more erratic boulders HERE



Very much enjoy all the entries you all have provided -- great to see the everyday cycling venues. Being in eastern Illinois, scenery certainly isn't our forte, but oh well, the roads are normally quiet. Look forward to more and more entries from all of you, I do have a few over on BL -- in Bill's Day Rides, and one journal.

3 response to "January Challenge"

  1. By: Suzanne Posted: January 1, 2020

    I enjoyed your rocky New Year’s ride! Very interesting. I will have to find where those erratics are that I cycled to with our bicycle club back in the summer. Janos will know. I haven’t been seeing many rocks around on my usual rides. Maybe I haven’t been looking. A challenge!

  2. By: gregblood Posted: January 2, 2020

    I’m a fan of new, questionably authentic words. “Photogenticity” is a good one.

    Once again, you provided great scientific information with your pictures. All you’ll get from me this month is stuff like “Hey, there’s a pretty rock” or “that rock is BIG.”

  3. By: NancyG Posted: January 2, 2020

    Nice rocks, boulders, or erratics Rich! Like Greg, when and if I find any rocks it will me more like “oh, there’s a rock”.

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