Greater white fronted geese feed on Friday, May 1, 2020, in Mud Bay on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Greater white fronted geese feed on Friday, May 1, 2020, in Mud Bay on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

Four years ago the Betster took a little jaunt to Paris. Remember those days? Remember when you could use air miles to get a cheap fare to a country half a world away? When you got there, you could safely get on the Metro or sit at a sidewalk cafe mere feet from some dapper dude in a chic scarf.

The Betster thought of that last weekend while watching shorebirds on the Mud Bay beach near Green Timbers. Old timers may remember before the 1964 earthquake Green Timbers was once forested and where people would picnic, another reminder that now and then things happen that turn our world topsy-turvy.

With the afternoon sun shining down on those peeps, their feathers almost glowing in the soft spring light, yours truly had a passing thought. OK, it’s not Paris, but sometimes Alaska can be pretty darn marvelous. There are probably Parisians who have had their dream of visiting here dashed. The Betster knows many birders had hoped to visit for the shorebird migration and mourn the postponed trip.

But here we are, we tough Homerites, and the shorebirds and geese and cranes have arrived, pandemic or not. How can you not be cheered by the honking of hundreds of goofy greater-white fronted geese? How can you not smile at thousands of little sandpipers chittering away as they tip their snouts into Kachemak Bay’s muddy buffet?

Every new call lifts up our hearts and every new FOS (first of season) reminds us the cycles of nature continue. Head forth and grasp that sunshine and enjoy life here, perhaps with these Best Bets:

BEST BIRD BY BIRD BET: Speaking of birds, though the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival has been postponed, there will be a virtual version starting today. See the 6×6 art show, check out what birders are seeing and experience the migration through the magic of the interwebs. Visit www.virtual.kachemakshorebird.org for all the fun.

BEST HURRAH BET: Like graduates all over the world, the students flipping their tassels at Kenai Peninsula College will have to be creative this year. They’ll be tuning in around the peninsula and even the world as the college honors those earning degrees from the Kenai River Campus and Kachemak Bay Campus in a live video broadcast. Homer writer and funny-as-heck guy Rich Chiappone delivers the keynote address. Watch it on Facebook Live at the college’s page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/KenaiPeninsulaCollege.

BEST BIG FIVE-OH BET: Kachemak Bay State Park also won’t celebrate its 50th birthday, but you can join in some of the fun on Saturday when Grace Ridge Brewery offers a special anniversary brew. With pandemic restrictions, they’re offering front-door pickup only. Tips support the Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park.

Wendy Erd’s poem, “Advice from an Estuary,” is on a plaque April 30, 2020, at Beluga Slough in Homer, Alaska. Erd wrote a series of poems in an artist’s residency several years ago. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Wendy Erd’s poem, “Advice from an Estuary,” is on a plaque April 30, 2020, at Beluga Slough in Homer, Alaska. Erd wrote a series of poems in an artist’s residency several years ago. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

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