Best Bets

If you’ve lived in Alaska at least one winter, you know that on Friday we’ll experience the biggest joke ever. No, no, we’re not talking [insert name of obligatory weird Alaska politician], although there are so, so many clowns. The biggest joke is, haha, on April 1 the month of March did not go out like a lamb. As usual, March ended like a big, grumpy, sleepy grizzly bear awakening from its nap.

Sure, we’ve had nice sunny days, but then just when you’ve thought that little snow shower would be the last of the season, along comes another one, with 3-feet drifts on top. First winter in Alaska? We’re sorry. It can get so, so depressing.

But here’s the thing. Although it seems like winter will never end, expect enormous changes at the last minute. You may not notice, but inch by inch, the snow slowly melts. The Betster had drifts and snow in the driveway of Chez Betster on Monday. On Tuesday, the snow had turned to slush and by gosh, there were actually puddles.

Down in the flats, we have open water on Beluga Lake. Parking lots are clear except for a season’s worth of winter grunge. Other than potholes, the streets actually might even be passable. Buds start to appear on trees and bushes — maybe even pussy willows.

You may think that spring will never come. Spring in Alaska can be sneaky. Spring is like a little vole walking across the kitchen floor so subtle you may not notice it. Spring is a ninja so mysterious you won’t notice it has arrived — and there it is.

So brace yourselves for other pranks, because that’s the tradition of April 1. Don’t be cruel and do be clever. This ain’t the Oscars, kiddos. Things are heating up in this fine little town, and all the more reason to get out and about, maybe with these Best Bets:

BEST YOUNG TALENTS BET: How do we have so many awesome artists in Homer? Maybe it’s because we encourage our children to be creative starting with, well, kindergarten. Two shows opening for First Friday feature youth artists. From 3-5 p.m. see the work of Sprout Family Services children at Grace Ridge Brewing. From 5-7 p.m. check out this year’s Jubilee show for children K-12 at the Homer Council on the Arts. Check out other shows at the Art Shop Gallery, Fireweed Gallery, Ptarmigan Arts, and the Pratt Museum & Park.

BEST YACKETY-YACK BET: Bunnell Street Arts Center doesn’t have a show opening Friday, but they feature something equally as cool: an introduction to three visiting artists and what they plan for their residencies in April. Jesse Egner and Nathan Hall speak at 6 p.m. Egner is a multidisciplinary artist and performance artist and Hall is a sound and visual artist. They’ll be holding workshops next month.

Also visiting is screenwriter Karen Frank. She won’t arrive until Saturday, but you can learn about her residency, too.

BEST ALL THAT GLITTERS BET: If you see some sharp looking and glamorous people around town on Saturday, no, Homer has not gone all Hollywood. That would be the Homer High School prom, with the theme, “Under a Night Sky.” Don’t go all paparazzo on them — please, they’ll take their own selfies. The prom runs 8 p.m. to midnight at the high school.

BEST PEEPING GOOD BET: It’s a month or less until the shorebirds start arriving. Learn how to identify the little peeps or refresh your knowledge with a Zoom lecture by ace birder Aaron Lang at 7 p.m. Monday, April 4. Sponsored by the Kachemak Bay Birders, Lang will use his excellent photos to teach the subtleties of shorebird identification.

BEST DEADLINES BET: Oh, and don’t forget: at 11:59 p.m. today is the deadline to file for your Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend. It’s not April 18 yet, so you have a few weeks until income taxes are due. If you’re 50 and older, AARP can help you fill out your tax forms. Call 907-299-4231 to make an appointment.