Bird is the word Palmer artist Francois Girard stands by art from his show, “Alaska Wings,” at the First Friday opening on July 6 at the Art Shop Gallery in Homer, Alaska. Girard creates sculptures he calls “Bird Blocks” made from prints adhered to wood and varnished. He also displays some of his original paintings. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Bird is the word Palmer artist Francois Girard stands by art from his show, “Alaska Wings,” at the First Friday opening on July 6 at the Art Shop Gallery in Homer, Alaska. Girard creates sculptures he calls “Bird Blocks” made from prints adhered to wood and varnished. He also displays some of his original paintings. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

After a late spring and subsequently late summer, the Betster is finally starting to see some happy results, some telltale signs of Homer in the summer.

The fireweed along the driveway are finally a bright pinkish-purple. The grass is so tall that inching out to the road to turn becomes a dangerous game. The vegetables and herbs planted so long ago are finally maturing.

It’s the best part of the summer, so get out and enjoy it! Hop in a kayak, go for a hike across Kachemak Bay (but be on the lookout for bears), or take a stroll along any of several stretches of beach at sunset, now that sunset is coming at a somewhat decent hour again.

Or, if you’ve run out of ideas, take a look at these Best Bets:

BEST BAIT BET: Learn to make the best use of all of your fish at the upcoming workshop Zero Waste Fishing, to be held rom 7-9 pm. tonight at Stowaway Cafe on East End Road. With the decline of salmon runs everywhere, it is now more important than ever to make the best use of the fish that we do have. Get great ideas on how to get more out of each fish you catch, how to utilize the parts you don’t want to eat, and how to compost your fish waste safely with Willow King. This workshop costs $20. Call 299-9117 for more information.

BEST BARREL OF LAUGHS BET: Looking for a little theatre in your life? Look no further than this weekend’s production of “Woogie, Woogie,” by Sally Oberstein. Aging Rose, her two grown daughters, and granddaughter dysfunctionally navigate their pursuit of relationships in this comical, almost real-life stage play. Together they discover the mysteries and rewards of each other, meatballs and the power of Woogie Woogie. The play starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and continues Saturday and Sunday at Pier One Theatre. General admission costs $15.

BEST BE PREPARED BET: The Betster could have sworn the summer just began, yet high school sports season is already looming before us. Make sure your kids are ready! Homer Medical Center is offering free sports physicals at a one-day clinic on Saturday, July 21 for high school students who need a physical for participation in school sanctioned activities. Appointments are not required, and exams will be offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Exams are offered free of charge by providers from Homer Medical Center. All students must bring or wear loose fitting shorts for the screening. Please contact Homer Medical Center at 235-8586 for additional information.

BEST BALL OF FUN BET: Something a tad odd happens to Homerites when the weather creeps above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s just too much heat for our fragile constitutions when the majority of the year is cool and overcast. Luckily some smart locals have come up with a solution to the heat. Grab your kid and head on down to the 2018 Mud Games on Sunday, July 22 from 1-3 p.m. at Cottonwood Horse Park, located on Scenic View Drive. The Annual Mud Play Event is open to all ages and is free. Wear a swimsuit or clothes that can get dirty. A washing station will be provided, but participants should bring a towel and war, dry clothing to change into after mud play. Call 907-235-8214 or email kbayea@gmail.com for more information.

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