Nothing can be finer than a May weekend. Yes, Alaska summers can be pretty spectacular, but there’s something about that transition from winter into spring. Down south people might call that “April.” You know Alaska: Most everything isn’t current in this time zone.
Your Lower 49 friends might be sharing social media photos of their big luscious gardens. Some of them might even have edible food by now. Our seasons cycle slowly, taking their own dang sweet time — until, of course, everything happens at once.
Up on the ridge, winter still hasn’t given up. People are still skiing on Lookout Mountain. Mounds of snow remained piled into avalanche zone from a winter of snow sliding off roofs. Slowly greener emerges, like the weird alien sprouts of rhubarb in the Betster’s garden.
May means birds, the gradual reopening of favorite Homer Spit shops and eateries and chilly evenings balanced by warm, sunny afternoons. Visitors start arriving. Campgrounds fill up. Like our slow march to overcoming the pandemic, we’re climbing toward warmth, greenery and longer days. What better time to celebrate life than with these best bets?
BEST POT BET: The Betster knows what you’re thinking, but this best pot bet is in reference to the 2021 Homer Pottery Tour, which will be hosted in person and virtually from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. May 15-16. This year’s annual celebration of ceramic creations will introduce participants to eight potters, including Paul Dungan, Ruby Haigh, Ahna Iredale, David Kaufmann, Maygen Lotscher, Tara Schmidt, Jeff Szarzi and Cynthia Morelli, who will demonstrate the process for creating every day and ornamental bowls, cups, plates, decorations and more. The potters will open their studios in Homer to make connections and teach the craft of pottery. Check the website https://www.homerpotters.com/for details and directions.
BEST DRUMMING BET: Interested in making your own traditional native style hoop drum and learning to play music on it? Join White Eagle Medicine Woman and Michaela Baumgartner on May 15 from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Whirling Rainbow Center to make your own ceremonial drum and learn about traditional music, dance and art.
The event will also be hosted via Zoom for those who cannot attend in person. For more details and to register, go to https://www.whirlingrainbow.com/product/1-day-workshop-ceremonial-drum-making/.
BEST MARITIME ON LAND BET: Ever wonder what commercial fishing was like on sailboats before the implementation of motorized vessels? Visit the Maritime Art of Kachemak and Bristol Bays exhibit on display at the Homer Council on the Arts through May 29 to see artwork made by fellow Alaskans celebrating the maritime heritage of Kachemak and Bristol Bays.
Until 1951, the salmon of Bristol Bay were harvested by double-ended wooden gillnetters manned by two rugged fishermen. The Maritime Art of Kachemak and Bristol Bays exhibit showcases the sailboats and equipment utilized during the time period in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the transition.