Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-three):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-three):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

The federal government of Canada does offer incentives for people to buy electric or hybrid vehicles.  Currently only British Columbia and Quebec offer provincial incentives.  Because WordPress is seen around the World you could check to see if your government offers incentives to buying electric or hybrid vehicles.

https://www.caa.ca/electric-vehicles/government-incentives/

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-694/usnea

https://carbonengineering.com/

https://www.therecord.com/news-story/9792576-new-industry-develops-around-sucking-carbon-dioxide-out-of-atmosphere/

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/6/14/17445622/direct-air-capture-air-to-fuels-carbon-dioxide-engineering

After her last lecture Rita tried to research Kanetic Reusable Batteries and whether it has a parent company but to no avail.  She also called Marlo each day to see how he was feeling.  He told her the new girl, Ember, had told him about a dream she had.

In the dream Ember said she saw Rae in the distance sitting by the shore on a washed up log.  As Ember walked closer she noticed Rae was holding an argillite carving of a man with hands and feet that looked unfinished.  Without looking at her Rae pointed towards a tree.  On the tree grew usnea lichen.

From her purse Ember then pulled out a paper bag and offered it to Marlo.  When he opened it he saw the pale greyish-green strands of a plant.  “Rae wants you to eat this.”

He did and has felt much better since.

Before her class begins Rita pulls Kanayago aside.  “It was strange dirt you collected but I can’t return it to you.”  Rita doesn’t explain that she reabsorbed the dirt.

Kanayago’s brow furrows but she doesn’t seem to be overly surprised by what Rita tells her.  “Oh well, thanks for looking into it,” is all she says.

As Rita stands in front of her class she takes in a deep breath.  This lecture is extremely important but could easily be misinterpreted.  “We’re going to discuss Direct Air Capture,” she says.  Trees, as you know, absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.  Vehicles and factories burn gas or coal and give off carbon dioxide.  Too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the Earth will heat up.  Ocean flooding, forest fires, and the melting of glaciers increases.

“Direct Air Capture attempts to pull carbon dioxide out of the air and sell it to greenhouses, turn it into fuel, or bury it as basalt rock.  In the past there were only two companies performing Direct Air Capture:  Carbon Engineering out of Canada, Climeworks out of Switzerland and Iceland.  Carbon Engineering turns the carbon dioxide into fuels by adding it to hydrogen through electrolysis.  Climeworks sells carbon dioxide to greenhouses in Switzerland and creates basalt rock in Iceland.

“These companies are not a solution though.  We still need to decrease the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  Next week we’ll talk about water usage in the house.  I do have an assignment for you.  Write a five hundred to a thousand word essay on the jobs you are currently doing or have done and what the company you are or did work for is doing to help the environment.”  Rita hopes Kanayago will give her better insight into Kanetic Reusable Batteries.

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

The idea of neutering or spaying is to stop overpopulation.  The ethical matter is the lack of choice.  The worldwide concern is the possibility of wiping out an entire breed.  Reversible birth control would be a better idea but I cannot find any information on this.

https://www.ctriver.org/they-can-swim-really/

https://www.grandriver.ca/en/our-watershed/Water-quality-data.aspx

Rita scurries towards a drain hole in the floor.  She presses her feet into the floor to slow down when she feels the brush of the broom push her against the base of a metal cage that protects a motor.  She smells metal burning and turns to look up.  Two strands of the cage’s metal welded wire bend around her.  She watches in terror as Kanayago squats down and stares at her.

“You’re a strange looking rodent,” Kanayago says to her.   “And familiar somehow.”  Kanayago stands up.  “There aren’t more of you are there?  I’ll need to find something to keep you for now,” she hears Kanayago say as she walks away.

Rita’s heart is pounding so hard she can feel it push her ribs out.  It’s not good to change without any dirt around but she doesn’t have a choice.  Her body is riddled with spasms now.  She shrinks as her excess body turns to wet earth.  Her tiny ears listen intently for Kanayago or any other movement as she hops towards the grate where Marlo is waiting.  As her long fluffy tail stands straight up she runs at full speed towards the grate.

“How did a chipmunk get in here?” she hears Kanayago say from far behind.

She falls into water.  Scrambling she reaches the surface and dog paddles at the concrete ledge where Marlo is waiting.  With blurry eyes she sees him staring down at her in confusion.  He scoops her up and holds her up to his face.  Shivering she sakes water from her fur and nods her head numerous times.

“I hope this is you Rita,” he says with a cough.  In an instant she riding atop viscous water that flows against the river’s current.

Back on the shore Marlo changes into his human form and starts coughing.  “That factory is contaminating the river,” he says through gasps.  “I’ll wait until your human again then I need to rest,” he tells her as he sets her onto the bank.

 

In her car she rests her head back.  That short time having the welded wire that looked more like thick bars to her changed form has her thinking of all the animals locked in cages.  She tries to keep her composure but knowing now how terrifying it is she can’t keep the sobs in.  Humans caging themselves, and caging other life.  She clenches her fist as she brushes the tears away with her forearm.  And they neuter other humans and animals.  Who is keeping track off all this she wonders?  Neutering should be reversible.  An entire species of dogs or cats could be wiped out.

“Be positive, Rita,” she tells herself.   She’ll have to investigate the ethics of neutering and if modern operations are reversible.  Right now she’s worried about Marlo.  He didn’t look good as he headed for his car.  How polluted is the river water she wonders.

Rita Walker (Blog Nineteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Nineteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Cadmium is toxic or poisonous in small quantities.  In industry it is used for insecticides, electroplating, batteries and more.  It can cause renal dysfunction, bone degeneration, and liver problems.  It is not essential to biological functions.  In batteries cadmium can be recycled.  Perhaps there should be a separate recycling container for batteries.

https://books.google.ca/books?id=hS5IwFBkaX0C&pg=PA23&lpg=PA23&dq=K%27algyaa+kongaas&source=bl&ots=kCdTLyZHU7&sig=ACfU3U3-JnurN1RLfTfMX0ShEQdoqalO7A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj8lp7ZrrbmAhUDVt8KHYnrCugQ6AEwA3oECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=K’algyaa%20kongaas&f=false

http://www.ratbehavior.org/perception.htm

https://www.cadmium.org/cadmium-applications/nickelcadmium-batteries

https://www.call2recycle.ca/tag/nickel-cadmium/

https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/a28555278/rust-electricity/

 

The K’algyaa kongaas moon is three-quarters full as she steps inside a bush.  She can hear the footsteps of Marlo as he moves beside the oak tree.  Her beady eyes gaze through the twigs towards him.  He starts whistling a soft tune that she doesn’t recognize.

Lifting her long hairless tail she scurries out of the bush towards him.  He looks down at her and she halts.  This the moment of truth.  He could stomp on her or in disbelief leave.  Instead he crouches down and places his right hand palm up on the ground.  Diligently she steps onto his palm.

She feels his caress as he strokes her head then her back.  Tenderly he walks her towards the river.

“I hope you can hear me,” he says in his deep melodic voice.  “I’ll put you on the bank and change.  Water likes to be in constant motion.  I could change into a fish or beaver but I think its best if I just become fluid.  When you see an unusual ripple step onto it.

Rita watches from the bank, amazed, as Marlo steps into the shallow part of the river.  In a moment he’s no longer standing there.  She squints at the water and see tiny, unusual ripples in the water.  Now that there is little time she holds her breath and steps forward.

A strange tingling feeling runs up her pink toes as she moves towards the grate that will take her into the Kanetic Reusable Batteries factory.  As they slip through the bars of the grate Rita sees shades of grey.  Under the building there are concrete ledges.  Higher up on the ceiling she sees a drainage grate.  She jumps onto the concrete ledge.

In a moment Marlo is standing on the ledge in his human form.   He scoops her up and holds her so she can slip through the bars of the floor grate above.  Standing on the floor above she gazes down at him.  “I’ll wait here as long as I can,” he whispers to her.  “If that doesn’t work I’ll have to try to come back later.”

Rita scurries close to the wall as her keen nose sniffs.  There are two scents that cause her to halt and sniff more intently.  The smell of iron mixed with Kanayago’s particular scent.  Because Marlo changed into water his entire body weight came with him so he could change back to his human form.  Most of Rita’s weight is in a pile as dirt within the bush by the oak tree.  Everything is enormous.  She follows her nose towards Kanayago’s scent.

As she scurries past the legs and bases of machines she sees a woman with her hair tied back wearing a lab coat and safety glasses.  There doesn’t seem to be anyone else in the room.

“They think I’ve created energy from iron,” the young woman is saying to herself as she places her palm on a pile of rust.  “But the energy is coming from me and I’m burning out.  Ember could help me but she says the technology is being developed so why bother.  I thought she was joking when she lit the candle just by looking at it.  I shouldn’t have shown her that I can bend the fork with my mind.  I knew something was wrong when the snow fell.”

For a while Rita only hears silence then Kanayago starts talking to herself again.

“Ember can’t be right.  Surely Kanetic isn’t simply dumping excess Cadmium into the Grand River.”

Now Rita knows what’s wrong with this factory.  She turns around but hears rapid footsteps behind her.  Scurrying away she looks back and sees Kanayago coming at her with a push broom.

Rita Walker (Blog Eighteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Eighteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Neil Degrasse Tyson had an interview with Joe Rogan in which he explained the dangers of transferring enough energy through the air to run devices.

https://www.livescience.com/46745-how-tesla-coil-works.html

https://thejoeroganexperience.net/joe-rogan-neil-degrasse-tyson-explains-microwaves/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/wireless-power-transfer

https://www.askamathematician.com/2011/07/q-can-light-be-used-to-transfer-energy-instead-of-power-lines/

She bites her lower lip and taps her right foot as the phone rings.

“Hello,” a melodic deep voice answers.

“Hi,” she replies as she tries to hide the shakiness in her voice.  “Tonight is still good?”

“Yes,” Marlo replies.

“We’ll meet at the Oakhill Cemetery at 9 p.m.”

“Sounds good.”

“Okay, see you then,  bye.”

“Bye,” he replies.

She turns off her cell and clips a miniature camera onto the crown of her hair.

It’s still daylight as she drives through Brant Conservation Area to get to the cemetery.  She slows down when she sees Kanayago facing off against a much taller girl.  Mesmerized by the sight she pulls over.  That’s when she notices a light layer of snow covering the ground and a chill in the air.  The taller girl is holding a candle in the palm of her hand and with a point of her finger lighting the wick than with a snap of her fingers extinguishing it.  Meanwhile, Kanayago is holding a fork.  With a point of her finger the fork bends than straightens.  Kanayago is laughing.

Kaitlyn Lindemann as Kanayago (3)
Kaitlyn Lindemann as Kanayago picture by Katy Waring
Kaitlyn Lindemann as Kanayago (5)
Kaitlyn Lindemann as Kanayago picture by Kating Waring
Katy Waring fire final 4 Dan
Kating Waring as Ember picture by Kaitlyn Lindemann

Rita desperately glances around.  She breathes easier when she doesn’t see anyone.  Some things aren’t meant for the common public to see.  Angrily she honks her car’s horn.  The girls glance her way then scatter into the trees.

As she pulls into the cemeteries parking lot she takes in deep gulps of air.  Next class she’ll have to explain to Kanayago the dangers of using her powers when others can see, and find out who the girl that belongs to Rae is.  The energy frequency emitted through the air to manipulate particles to cause a flame to occur or metal to bend could seriously damage anything in-between.   There’s a reason wires are still used to power devices from hairdryers to stoves.  That much energy sent through the air could melt an object or severely hurt or kill a living creature.

Rita walks to the edge of the cemetery where a giant oak tree grows.  This is where she’ll meet Marlo.

Rita Walker (Blog Seventeen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Seventeen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

We take some liberties with Rita Walker, such as suggesting what supermarkets might be like in the near future.  The idea is to show possible solutions but there are always other ideas that might be better.  A concern is if only one replacement, like hemp, were to be used what would be the environmental impact of trying to grow enough hemp?  So the answer might be having a variety of sources to replace plastics in supermarkets.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/sustainable-alternatives-to-plastic-bags_n_5a732a7de4b0bf6e6e225ee0

https://www.simpleecology.com/shop/organic-cotton-muslin-produce-bags

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cellulose-film-packaging-market-is-estimated-to-grow-at-a-cagr-of-4-9-during-2018-2028-882076644.html

http://www.nzwc.ca/focus/food/guidelines-for-food-donations/Documents/18-064-FoodDonation-LiabilityDoc-v7WEB.pdf

It’s Saturday and Rita can hardly focus.  Tonight she meets up with Marlo near the Kanetic Reusable Batteries by the Oakhill Cemetery.  First she has to discuss an upcoming lecture with the Metro Supermarket manager.

She walks through the supermarket’s sliding glass doors and heads towards the Service Desk.  As she passes the aisles she notices that most of the customers are using muslin produce bags.  At the Service desk she asks for Ryan Day, the store’s manager.

“Hello Rita,” says a man in his forties who stands slightly taller than Rita.  He has fading blond hair and a sharp nose that makes his smile even broader.  “Let’s go for a walk.”

“The bags you see in the produce section are made from cellulose,” Ryan tells her.   As they walk past the other aisles Ryan points out the meat section.  Instead of Styrofoam or plastic for the base we use paper packaging coated with cellulose.”

“What’s the environmental impact of using cellulose?” Rita asks.

“That’s something the owners of the supermarket are considering.  If it’s affordable it might be better to use numerous sources to replace plastic.  So we have cellulose bags available but also customers can bring their reusable bags.  We have some packaging made of hemp but it would be devastating to the forest and farm to grow enough hemp to make it the only reusable alternative.”

“Well thank you for the good news,” Rita says as she gazes at the reusable packaging.  “What happens to the food that doesn’t get purchased?”

“Initially we sell it at a discount or give it to the foodbank.  Once it expires the food is sent to be converted into energy or fertilizer for local farms.”

“Can you give the food to the foodbank?”  Rita had heard supermarkets and food markets were concerned about being sued if they gave day old food to food banks.

“No, there’s a law called Donation of Food Act.  Obviously food that is moldy, smells bad or has other signs of going rotten cannot be donated.”

“Well, thank you Ryan, you’ve made my day,” Rita says as she offers her hand.

“My pleasure.  I hope to have more good news for you in the near future.”

As Rita drives home she wonders what the night will bring.  She researched Kanetic Reusable Batteries and found very little information except a list of its current employees.  Kanayago’s name was listed under research and development.

 

Rita Walker (Blog Sixteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Sixteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Both nature and technology follow the circle of life.  A river that flows is alive and healthy but block off the flow and it stagnates.  Forget to fill a car up with gas or keep up the oil and other liquids and the gears rust and it eventually refuses to work anymore.  Everything is breaking down and building up constantly.  What happens to our bodily fluids is no different.

https://japanesemythology.wordpress.com/tag/kanayago-kami/

http://yokai.com/kirin/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_legendary_creatures_from_Japan

http://wessuc.com/agricultural-use-of-biosolids/

https://www.simcoe.com/community-story/7323434-from-toilet-to-field-barrie-poop-becomes-agricultural-fertilizer/

https://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Books/Building-Soils-for-Better-Crops-3rd-Edition/Text-Version/The-Living-Soil/Soil-Microorganisms

She stares up at the classroom.  Her heart pounding as she sees Marlo calmly staring back at her.  Later she’ll need to talk to him about visiting Kanetic Reusable Batteries with his help.  To Rita’s surprise a girl much shorter than Marlo with long brunette hair and wearing glasses with a metal frame is sitting beside him.  The girl’s innocent face is confusing considering her aura is metallic grey.  “Hi,” she says to the new girl.  “Welcome to the class and could you tell everyone your name?”

“Kanayago,” the girl replies with a sweet voice.

Rita is dumbfounded.  “Do you know the meaning behind that name?”

“Yes.  My parents told me they found me in a crib at the doorstep when they first moved to Canada from the Chūgoku Mountains in Japan.”

“They named you Kanayago?”

“No.  The name was written in Hiragana syllabary on a gold anklet they found around my left ankle.  Since I do not look Japanese my parents told me they were confused at first but accepted that it was the mythical Kirin that delivered me to their doorstep.”

Rita shakes her head.  Her bias suggested the child of Kaneki would be obtuse and the least likely to join her class.

“Today’s lecture,” she begins with a shaky voice, “is about biosolids.  It’s important in this class to remember we want to know where a product starts and where it finishes.  So we’re going to talk about how poop and urine is turned into biosolids.  We eat and drink, go to the bathroom and our waste–and let’s put waste between quotation marks–goes to sewage plants.  Then what?”  Rita stops talking and gazes across the room at all the students.  They all look confused, even Marlo.

“The excrement and urine or waste goes through many processes to change it into biosolids.  The biosolids are used on farms to help grow food.”  She sees that all the students have disgusted looks on their faces.  “Everything needs to be reused or recyclable with as little greenhouse gas emission as possible.  The biosolids are anaerobically or aerobically digested before they are used for growing food.  Think of a leaf.  It grows on the tree in the spring; helps gather sunlight and rainwater in summer, and falls off in the autumn.  Over the winter the fallen leaves give protection to plant beds and insects.  In the spring when thaw arrives the leaves break down and become soil.”

Marlo’s hand shoots up.

“Yes,” Rita asks trying not to stare intensely at him.

“Like cleaning out a gutter.  If the leaves remain from autumn to spring you’ll be cleaning out dirt instead of leaves.”

“Correct.  Thank you Marlo.”  She knows her eyes say I’ll meet you later but she hopes he’s the only one who notices.  “I want you to study up on biosolids and how each and everyone one of us can make this an easier process.”

 

Later in the day Rita goes to Moonshadows Metaphysical Shop near Mt Hope Cemetery to pick up a Haida made whale talisman.  But she knows the owner and opens the door to the house instead of the shop.  Rita halts in the front of the hall.  Inside sitting half way up on a carpeted stairway is the girl Kanayago where she’s reading a book.  Rita immediately notices the metal framed glasses and the silver ankh charm that sits against her chest held their by a silver necklace.  Kanayago seems absorbed in the book about nanotechnology.

Kaitlyn Lindemann as Kanayago
Kaitlyn Lindemann as Kanayago

Remembering this is a child of Kaneki and that she must tread carefully with this one Rita diligently steps back outside and gently closes the front door.

Rita Walker (Blog Fifteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Fifteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

In the past vehicle batteries were often just thrown in bodies of water like lakes or rivers.  Batteries can be completely recycled now.  The importance is getting the batteries to the recycling plant.

https://www.batterysolutions.com/recycling-information/how-are-batteries-recycled/

https://www.livescience.com/40459-what-do-cats-see.html

On the Grand River, just on the border with the Oakhill Cemetery, a new factory was built just the year before.  Rita had driven by the factory and saw a sign in bold blue letters with the words Kanetic Reusable Batteries.  Under the name were the words:  Clean Energy.   On her excursion the other night her feline nose suggested otherwise.

She wants to get inside Kanetic Reusable Batteries and see what’s going on but not in her human form.  Part of the factory extends into the Grand and she noticed the river’s water flows in and out of a grate.  But the grate opening is small and even as a rodent she doesn’t think she could swim through the river’s current to get inside.  Perhaps Marlo could help her with that.  Rán had told her she could find him at Mohawk Lake.  First she wants to observe him unnoticed.  Invisibility is sometimes just becoming something else.

It’s Saturday and the night before she had asked Zsofia to pick her up from a grove but not as her normal self.   She sees Zsofia’s BMW i3 pull into the parking lot.  As Zsofia gets out of her car and looks around, Rita leaves the grove where a pile of dirt sits beside the tree trunk of a black birch.   Zsofia looks down and waves at her as she opens the front passenger door.  Rita leaps inside.  It took a long time to get used to a cat’s poor daytime vision.  The reason she prefers to investigate at night.

As Zsofia drives towards Mohawk Lake she puts on the radio.  There isn’t much sense in talking since it would be one sided.  So Rita stands on her hind legs and stares out the window.

I’ll Melt With You by Modern English starts playing.  It’s like listening with two separate pairs of ears.  Her feline ears hear mumbo- jumbo but her human memory can still discern the words.

Once they reach the lake Zsofia lets Rita out.  She carries Rita towards the shore where Marlo is gazing over the lake.

Kyle Montyro as Marlo 1
Kyle Montyro as Marlo

“I’ll read my book for half an hour than honk,” Zsofia tells her as she sets Rita down.

Rita looks side-to-side as she steps ever closer to Marlo.  She sits on her haunches and stares up at him.

 

He crouches down and places the fingers of his right hand into the lake’s water.  Without looking at her he says, “I will get you inside the factory.”

Kyle Montyro as Marlo 2
Kyle Montyro as Marlo 2

Rita Walker (Blog Fourteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Fourteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

In 1974 Spanish pilot and marine officer Juan Pérez was the first European to discover the Haida Gwaii but bad weather stopped him from landing and claiming it for Spain.   James Cook, Captain of the Royal navy was the first European known to visit the Haida Nation.  Archaeology digs have determined the Haida have been living on the Haida Gwaii islands from 6000 to 8000 years ago.

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/haida-gwaii

https://www.raconteur.net/business-innovation/cobalt-mining-human-rights

https://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/giants/aegir-and-ran/

https://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/aborig/haida/havwa01e.html

As she drives home from the college the sky is dark and clear.  A song she hasn’t heard in a long time comes on.  Chalk Circle’s “This Mourning” gets her tapping her hands against the steering wheel.  It reminds her why Kaneki needs to go back to Centre Earth.

The weeping willow string she planted is growing little nubs that she hopes will grow into tiny branches.  It was wonderful that Kaylee asked her to teach a Haida language course three times a week along with her once a week Environmental Technology class.  She knows she’ll be financially stable for the next three years.  Her real focus though is on what she does at night.  So with a cup of licorice tea she sits in front of her window in her kitchenette and concentrates on the tiny willow sapling.  A quarter moon shines through her window awakening the elemental inside her.  She could control its pull for her to change but tonight she wants to transform.  Her eyes remain open but become unfocused.

She finds herself at Soper Park.  Before her Oya is dressed ready for action.

“What do you want child?” Oya asks in an exasperated voice.

“To visit Rán.”

“This is a bad time for me child of Ailbe Rose.  I must deal with Kaneki’s influence on mining for cobalt in the Congo.   Think of Island and go!”

To Icelanders their home is known as Island.  It’s where her grandfather wanted to return to.

When Rita was five her father took the family to Kiusta at the northern tip of Haida Gwaii.  Taking her hand he led her to the shore where the ruins of a long boat rested near a group of ancient totem poles.  “My father, your grandfather arrived on this boat.  He was nearly dead when they brought him to a sweat lodge and your grandmother nursed him to health.  He came from far far away.  You and I have his eyes whereas your brother has pure Haida eyes like your mother.  I would find him staring at this ruin as we worked on his new boat.  I think he would have stayed if your grandmother had not died during the Tsimshian raid.”

Rita only remembers her father’s father vaguely.  Tall and strong, with long brown hair and a red beard that flowed to his chest.  His voice was loud sometimes but more often hushed as though his soul were broken.  By the fire pit he would stare at her but with his chin turned slightly away.  It made her feel as if he was watching her wearily.  His Haida Gwaii words were clipped and often he added words she had never heard before.  He always kept his distance from her.  “There is something else in this child,” she would hear him say to both her mother and father at different times.  He would shake his shaggy head afterwards and stare at her out of the corner of his eyes.

When she was four her father’s father had taken dry fish and fresh water onto his new boat with its many ribs.  “Someday others like me will come,” he warned before he paddled north towards the Bering Sea.  In the distance Rita remembered seeing him unfurl the strange red and white curving sail his mother had helped him sew.  He was right others like him would arrive at Haida Gwaii but Rita wouldn’t learn about that until later.

Her vision becomes cloudy.  As the cloud dissipates she can see Rán walking in modern clothes by a river.    Rán stops and turns to her with a beaming smile.  Rita realizes Kaneki has not made his presence known as much on Iceland—yet.

Gunnhildur as Rán for Rita Walker November 9 2019 by Freyr Holldorsson
Gunnhildur as Rán for Rita Walker November 9 2019 by Freyr Holldorsson

“What can I do for you Rita?” Rán asks in her boisterous voice.

Gunnhildur as Rán for Rita Walker November 9 2019 3 by Freyr Holldorsson
Gunnhildur as Rán for Rita Walker November 9 2019 3 by Freyr Holldorsson

“Do you have student named Marlo?”

“I do.  When you change you can watch him by the lake near where you live.  He is with you Rita that I can assure you.”

“Thank you, Rán,” Rita says as Rán fades away and she feels herself changing.

Rita Walker (Blog Thirteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Thirteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

The type of soil and climate found in a particular area will determine what plants will grow best in that location.  In Brantford the soil is mostly Luvisolic:  a mixture of clay, silt, and sand.  Clayey Gleysolic and Gray Brown Luvisolic are the main soils with the major crops being corn, soy, and tobacco.

https://soilsofcanada.ca/

http://ecozones.ca/english/region/135.html

https://www.gardenguides.com/128379-types-soil-ontario.html

https://soilsofcanada.ca/orders/luvisolic.php

https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-loam-1401908

 

Rita looks up at the students in her class and sighs.  She counts sixteen students and only one of the five she expected.  As she met each of the Ancients, though she only saw Rae, they gave her the ability to see an aura on the very rare occasion her path connected with another elemental’s.  She sees a blue hue around a tall man with dark dreadlocks and trimmed beard.  “Water,” she whispers.  His head tilts to the side as she speaks the word and she knows he has heard her.

“Soil is composed of many different chemicals and organisms.  The type of each is determined by the composition of the minerals in a given area.  Wind blows soil and glaciers move large chunks of it.  And what else is soil?   It is the by-product of death and waste.  When leaves die and fall off a tree or as plants wither and decay they decompose—into soil.    Whatever your body doesn’t use must come out as waste products.  In the natural pattern everything dies and everything is used to help the growth of life.”

“We’re going to focus on the soil in Brantford.”    Rita moves to the side of large screen behind her and clicks a button on a remote.  An image of Canada with multiple colours appears representing the different soil types and where they are located.  She uses the pointer of the remote and points a red dot to the area where Brantford is on the map.  “The yellow represents Luvisolic soil.  Glaciers pulverized the soil so that the dominant minerals are calcium and magnesium leaving the top soil as predominantly loamy or clay.  Loamy soil is a mixture of clay, silt, and sand.  Clay and silt help keep in the water while sand creates gaps for better root growth.

“Farmers use both cattle and human manure to fertile the soil.  That will be our next lecture.  Are there any questions?”

The man with the blue aura raises his hand.

“Yes?” Rita asks.

“What happens when the soil is polluted?” he asks in a voice that is both soft and deep, “and what about soil microorganisms?”

“That’s coming up in future lectures Mr.?”

Rita Walker (Blog Ten):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Ten):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

In the August 9, 2019 Waterloo Region Record there was an article called:  Rebuilding a road for tomorrow by Catherine Thompson.  By using perforated storm sewer pipes and Silva cells on Ahrens Street West the city of Kitchener was hoping to stop run off of salt and other debris from entering nearby creeks.  Currently Highway 24 or Water Street South by Churchill Park does not have a road designed to protect wildlife.  But perhaps in the near future these roads will be everywhere.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/04/wildlife-overpasses-underpasses-make-animals-people-safer/

https://www.deeproot.com/products/silva-cell.html

http://www.bigorrin.org/haida_kids.htm

https://haidacultureproject.weebly.com/clothing.html

 

In the morning Rita showers off the sweat from her struggle not to change from the night before.  As the water pours over her she glances at her hands and up her left arm where the tattoos line up as a totem pole would.  Stepping out of the shower stall she stares at the mirror.  Through the mist created by the shower’s hot water she can see the shadowed images of the other tattoos on her body; each a symbol of survival or rite of passage.  Her eyes drift back to the feather symbol on her left arm.  Birds are part of the Air Elemental and today she must travel to Cambridge to meet with the Ancient One who represents the human aspect of Air.

Driving along Highway 24 in Cambridge she notices sections of the road are humped as she drives next to the Grand River and past Churchill Park.  This is a main area for turtles to cross.  The humps or mini-bridges are long so the drive is safe for cars and transport trucks.  Many years ago an innovative idea was put to the test in the city of Kitchener.  Perforated storm sewer pipes were installed under roads to lessen run off during heavy rain and to create more dispersion.  The dispersed water is captured and treated by what was then pioneering technology called Silva cells. Lightly compacted soil within the cells allowed trees to grow.  The roots of the trees help absorb and dissipate salt and other run off by-product before it reaches water sources such as creeks and rivers.  Now most road repairs are built with the environment in mind.

She glances at the feather tattoo on her left arm in the side view mirror of her leased Volkswagen e-Golf.  It reminds her of the time she saw Rae in a dream.  In the dream a female dressed in a red cedar bark dress stood on a tiny Island.  Rita watched as the woman raised her left arm.  She noticed a band around the woman’s forearm made of yellow cedar as a raven flew onto the woman’s outstretched arm.  Rita could only see the side profile of the woman and little of her face.  But the raven turned and stared directly at her.  That’s when the dream ended and she knew that she had caught a glimpse of Rae and the spirit Raven.

In the morning she had asked her mother about raven but left out Rae.

“You have strange dreams child,” her mother told her as she wove together new deerskin moccasins for Rita’s father.   “Raven may be many things, but is a protector for us above all else.  Ravens will steal food from you, have no doubt, and you should shoo them away if they try, but never hurt them. They are our protection against supernatural beings.”

As Rita drives down Shades Street towards Soper Park she wonders if the raven she saw as a child was protecting Rae from Kaneki.  But mostly she wonders why so long ago Rae allowed a glimpse of herself but so far would not communicate with Rita directly.’