Loess Children

Loess is a wind blown and deposited silt from the glacial ages found in many areas once covered by sheets of glacial ice.  When the glaciers retreated (melted back) large areas of transported materials were left behind.  The wind subsequently picked up the smaller silt sized and finer particles and deposited them in thick layers, especially along the downwind side of water courses when they dried out in the winter.

Shown above is such a deposit of loess in Sangamon, County Illinois.

Much of Illinois east of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers is covered by substantial deposits of loess, which, with other factors, creates a very rich soil.

Map from Illinois State Geological Survey

As ground water percolated through the deposit of loess it would dissolve calcium carbonate, and then recrystallize to solidify particles into nodules or concretions which are known as Loess Children or the German Loess Kindren.

Native peoples would collect these concretions, which sometimes rattled with smaller concretions inside, as toys for their children.

Pictured below are some Loess Children we collected at the site above.

The large dark rock is a glacial tillite

Almost vertical cliff form by the interlocking particles of loess

Swallows often dig out the soft loess to form their nests

Loess concretion for sale on Etsy


So, there is my submission for the Challenge which does not require any BOLO’s  🙂

(A bicycle back at the garage did not make the trip way out 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.

7 response to "Loess Children"

  1. By: Suzanne Posted: November 11, 2019

    Really enjoyed this, Rich! It seems that this challenge is inspiring some very creative responses.

  2. By: NancyG Posted: November 12, 2019

    I too enjoyed your post and information. I agree with Suzanne about the creativity this month’s challenge seems to have inspired ;’-)

  3. By: gregblood Posted: November 13, 2019

    Those loess kids are pretty cool. Interesting geology lesson too. But it remains to be seen whether you’re totally excused from a BOLO alert.

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: November 14, 2019

      Gulp!!! Dang! You are right!

      The Sangamon County Sheriffs Office is asking for the public’s help in finding those responsible for kidnapping several loess children northwest of Petersburg, IL. Anyone with information about the location of these people is asked to call authorities. Callers are reminded to never approach a wanted subject.
      Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office. Address. 524 South 2nd Street, Springfield, Illinois, 62701. Phone. 217-753-6855. Fax. 217-753-6387

      • By: gregblood Posted: November 14, 2019

        Aha! I knew they’d catch up to you, Rich.

        I have to tell you, when you posted that BOLO alert in my comments section, at first I thought it was REAL. I was so paranoid that I was actually thinking of turning myself in with the hope that the police would look at what I had written and would understand the concept of satire. Luckily I visited the police website first and noticed you just copied something off the tip line. That was pretty clever, and I might have fallen for it, except you forgot to change the case number. WHEW!

        • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: November 14, 2019

          ‘I might have fallen for it, except you forgot to change the case number. WHEW!’

          Well, I had to leave some sort of clue that this was a joke — although, it DOES look pretty official, which, actually, as we know, it is.

          I do apologize for giving you a few anxious moments there!
          I could just imagine your HPD talking to my HPD! — you have someone down there monkeying with our BOLOs.

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