Best Bets

As fun as that heatwave was while it lasted, the Betster is personally relieved that we finally got the rain we needed and deserved. Homer was starting to feel downright tropical compared to the normally overcast, cool weather we’ve come to expect from our summer season.

And we weren’t alone. Southeast Alaska experienced an 18-day dry spell, one of the longest in Juneau’s history. Fires have been raging across the state unhindered by any precipitation.

It’s doubtful that the little rain we did get will be enough to have any significant impact on those fires, but it’s sure to help things out here on the lower Kenai Peninsula (not the least of which is our dispositions. The greater Homer area seemed about ready to pop from the stress of heat that we’re not used to dealing with.)

If you felt like the rain was raining on your summertime parade, just remember: this is the way Homer is supposed to be. Much of Alaska is comparatively cooler than the Lower 48 during summer months for a good reason. The higher the temperatures soar, the more danger our natural resources like sea ice, glaciers and marine life face.

So while your tan maybe could have used a little more work, our little corner of the planet definitely could not have used any more dry heat.

Besides, think of all the great things you get to do in the rain that you can’t do when it’s sweltering (by Alaska standards). Puddle jumping, rain collecting (if you have a large garden or farm), dancing in said rain, staying inside to read all day — all of this is now ours for the taking.

While you relish in the fact that you did’t have to pay for a car wash over the last few days, or ring out sopping wet clothes from being caught in a sudden downpour, also take some time to ruminate on these Best Bets:

BEST BLOOMING BET: Today’s Thriving Thursday program from SVT Health & Wellness is one you don’t want to miss. Join them on a tour of Scenic Place Peonies located on the East Hill side of Homer, overlooking beautiful Kachemak Bay. The tour is with Beth Van Sandt. The farm grows 14 different cultivars of peonies for the cut flower market at an elevation 1,150 feet. While this farm primarily focus on peonies, it also grows veggies and other cut flowers.

BEST BEACH BET: Join Refuge rangers for a fun morning of exploring tidepools at Bishop’s Beach. Meet rangers at the Bishop’s Beach parking lot at 10 a.m. on Friday. Look for guides wearing orange vests. What to bring:

– Rubber boots or waterproof shoes

– Rubber gloves (optional)

– Warm clothes

– ID cards provided

BEST BUY LOCAL BET: A summer-long best bet has to be the twice-weekly Homer Farmers Market. It features 100% locally grown produce, seafood, crafts, lunch, prepared food items and more. Another nice addition is live music by local bands and artists. The Betster was lucky enough to catch the KP Brass Band in action last week. Head to the market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday at its location on Ocean Drive.

BEST BODY BET: We could all use a little loosening up after enduring that heck of a heat wave. Head over to Many Rivers Yoga Studio on Sunday for Restorative Yoga: yoga designed to open the body and quiet the mind. This takes place at 7 p.m.

BEST BELLY LAUGH BET: Don’t forget about Improv Playpen, a weekly drop-in class for anyone interested in learning some basic improvisation skills. The only requirements are a willingness to laugh and openness to playfulness. Also, bring inside shoes. No experience necessary. Only collaborative play, learning and fun. Attend as often or rarely as you choose. Classes are held from 6:30-8 p.m. on Tuesdays and are led and directed by members of Fresh Produce, Homer’s long-lived, heralded and professional performance and teaching improv troupe. This class takes place at the Art Barn, located behind 1060 East End Road. For information or questions contact: PeggyEllen at 907-399-7473 or Martty 509-294-0451.

Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)                                 Purple mountains majesty                                A field of fireweed is in full bloom on July 14 on Diamond Ridge in Homer.

Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News) Purple mountains majesty A field of fireweed is in full bloom on July 14 on Diamond Ridge in Homer.