Sophia Park, left, and Eryn Field, right, play in the big mud puddle at the 2015 Mud Wallow at Cottonwood Park. The event is 1-3 p.m. Sunday at Cottonwood Park.-Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Sophia Park, left, and Eryn Field, right, play in the big mud puddle at the 2015 Mud Wallow at Cottonwood Park. The event is 1-3 p.m. Sunday at Cottonwood Park.-Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Best Bets

Remember in winters past when it snowed so much you had to keep a snow shovel inside the front door to get out in the morning? That’s how the Betster feels with this summer’s explosion of green. To keep a decent lawn, you have to mow at least once a week — sometimes twice a week. Holy Tropicana!

Elderberry bushes have turned into shrubs the size of green wooly mammoths. Alders are the size of T. Rex. Even skunk cabbage looks like corn stalks the way they grow ’em in Oklahoma, climbing clear up to the sky. And the fireweed? Fireweed fields are so thick and tall the Homer High School Mariners basketball team could get lost in the brush.

Maybe this is our payback for not getting much snow the past few winters. Instead, vegetation covers the world, a jungle so thick grizzly bears might start stealing chainsaws just to get to their favorite salmon streams. You can ski on snow, though. The alder tsunami that ate Fritz Creek? You can’t swim in it. You can’t walk over it. All you can do is crawl through and hope to come out the other side with your skin on.

Is this how Ma Nature adjusts to a warm summer with a bit more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere — suck it up and grow like crazy? Maybe the willows will come back and we’ll see more moose. Maybe the balance will be restored, whatever balance that be.

The Betster doesn’t know. All the Betster can do is get out the weed whacker and hope to hold back the tide, if only long enough to make it to town and enjoy this amazing summer, maybe with these Best Bets:


BEST BIG MUDDY BET: Once again Nature Rocks Homer holds its annual Mud Wallow. The fun runs 1-3 p.m. Sunday at Cottonwood Horse Park, Mile 1.5 East End Road. It’s basic fun, but definitely not clean. Wallow in a bud muddy pond, make mud pies and just enjoy being covered by goop. A cleaning station is provided, but ring a set of clean, warm clothing to change into after mud play.


BEST THE ODDS ARE REALLY ODD BET: The Betster saw “Rosencrans and Guildenstern Are Dead” last weekend and still can’t figure it out. Good theater will do that to you. Tom Stoppard’s play mixes a little absurdism, a touch of philosophy and a lot of fun wordsmithing. It sort of has something to do with Hamlet, but it has pirates, some scenery chewing and great acting by leads Peter Sheppard, Carolyn Norton and Sarah Frary. The play is at 7:30 pm. Thursday-Saturday at Pier One Theatre.


BEST BUDDING INDUSTRY BET: Thinking about starting a career in Alaska’s new commercial cannabis industry? Learn about the enterprise at Canna Fair 2016, held 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday at Land’s End Resort. There will be booths, discussions and other information presented. Admission is $10; for ages 21 and older.


BEST HARD TO KEEP UP BET: If it seems like Johnny B. plays all over town, that’s because he does. On cruise ship days at 1 p.m. he does his Rhythm of the North at Pier One Theatre, but he also performs the show every Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Homer Council on the Arts. He also plays melodies to dine by at 6 p.m. Monday at AJ’s OldTown Steakhouse and Tavern.


BEST BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON BET: Drumming, dancing and flutes: Yeah, that sounds like another full moon celebration. Homer’s full moon celebrants hang out all over town by special invitation only, but you can go to the Whirling Rainbow Foundation’s event at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at 1565 Hillside Place. A $10 donation is suggested.

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