A patch of heart-shaped snow clings to the side of the Kenai Mountains on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, near Hope, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A patch of heart-shaped snow clings to the side of the Kenai Mountains on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, near Hope, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

The Betster has been so busy recently that yours truly almost didn’t notice a somber fact of late summer: It’s getting dark out. The other night after an evening of binge-watching “The Mandalorian,” I happened to look up and notice — wait? Are those stars?

Here at Latitude 59 degrees and some change, darkness creeps up on us. We can go entire months without seeing a star other than our sun, and all of a sudden, there they appear. Planets shine, too, like Mars glowing red on the southern horizon. It’s still too bright to see Comet Neowise, but keep looking there by the Big Dipper.

Fading daylight is yet one sign of the coming fall. There’s a bit of joy tinged with sadness at the sight of fields of fireweed, petals unfolding stem by stem. In burnt forests fireweed offers a sign of nature’s renewal, but as sourdoughs know, when it turns to fluff, winter is on its way. That’s all the more reason to seize the season, friends, perhaps with these Best Bets:

BEST GET HEALTHY BET: Full Spectrum Health (originally out of Anchorage) has partnered with local individuals to expand their services to Homer, and will host an open house from noon to 4 p.m. this Saturday at 925 Sea Plane Court. They provide individual, couple, family, group therapy, as well as medication management, and basic primary care (shot clinics, back to school wellness exams, etc.). At the open house, come see the clinic, meet the practitioners and ask questions. The clinic website is www.fullspectrumhealthak.com.

BEST LOOKING FORWARD BET: How would you explain the pandemic to your future self years from now? Think ahead with the Pratt Museum’s “Postcards from Unprecedented Times” project. Gather your thoughts for next week when for its First Friday Kickoff from 5-8 p.m. Aug. 7 the Pratt invites people to write a letter, draw, collage or create — whatever strikes your fancy about how to document the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pratt is committed to collecting and sharing the stories of Kachemak Bay, from both the past and present. Staff will scan your submission to be included in the museum’s digital archives and become part of the story the museum tells about this moment. The Pratt Museum will be collecting submissions of your “Postcards from Unprecedented Times” throughout the summer.

BEST ROLL ’EM BET: Learn how to make live cartoons with Shawn Harris in a Zoom workshop from 11 a.m. to noon Monday, Aug. 3, through the Homer Public Library. “The First Cat in Space” creator will help you turn your drawings and stories into cartoons. Combining elements from traditional animation, puppetry, picture-books and comics, you’ll learn all of the behind-the-scenes secrets that go into making your own hit live cartoons. The workshop is for families and best for ages 6 and older. Registration is required for the Zoom event. Visit www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/library/how-make-live-cartoons-shawn-harris to sign up and for details. Be sure to have on hand paper, something to draw with and scissors.

A heart-shaped patch of lichen is on a rock on Saturday, July 18, 2020, at the Hidden Lake Campground in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge near Sterling, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A heart-shaped patch of lichen is on a rock on Saturday, July 18, 2020, at the Hidden Lake Campground in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge near Sterling, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

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