Kristen Tonga sketches outside Ptarmigan Arts last week for First Friday. Tonga was in town visiting family. For a donation, she offered 10-minute portrait sketches.       -Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Kristen Tonga sketches outside Ptarmigan Arts last week for First Friday. Tonga was in town visiting family. For a donation, she offered 10-minute portrait sketches. -Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Homer’s Best Bets

An alert observer of the natural world e-mailed the Betster with an update on the sandhill crane migration. “Huge Normandy Invasion type of crane formation passed over Homer heading southeast around 11:45 a.m.,” Mr. Nature Observer — we’ll call him “Nick” — wrote.

With that many cranes flying, you’d have to have sampled one-too-many fine wines not to notice. The Betster cautions against overimbibing, because that can lead to bad things. Also, don’t try the five-finger discount trick or you’ll be making some new friends at Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

The Betster for dang-sure isn’t going to call this another sign of the season. The Betster only notes signs of one season, and that’s spring, or any transition out of w—–. The Betster deals with w—– the way the United Nations handles allegations a brutal dictator has gassed his country’s citizens. Fireweed fluff? What fireweed fluff?

However, recognizing that it could get a bit chilly over the next few months, the Betster issues this warning: Bundle up. Get in your heating-fuel supply (wood, coal, fuel oil, natural gas, feline and canine BTUs, etc.). Dig out the boots and coats. Find your studded tires. Book airline tickets to Hawaii now.

It’s all part of what the Yupik people call “upterrlainarluta,” or “always getting ready.” Huh. That kind of describes every day in Alaska. We still have a month or so of denial, but sooner or later w—– will come. So, enjoy this fabulous tail end of summer, maybe with these Best Bets:


BEST WALK ON BET: On these beautiful late summer days, sometimes you just want to take a beach walk forever. OK, if you do that, take a bag and pick up marine debris along the way. Better yet, sign up for the annual CoastWalk and be a citizen scientist with the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. Its kick off event is at 5:30 p.m. today at the headquarters on Smokey Bay Way.


BEST WORD ON BET: Want to start a personal, business or organization website? Learn how using the WordPress CMS program. Yeah, the Betster doesn’t know what that is, either, so it’s all the more reason to take the website boot camp offered by Michael Miller. The workshop is 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the CACS building.


BEST ’SHROOM ON BET: Who knew that Antarctica had mushrooms? Well, not all of it is ice and snow — oh, like Alaska. Learn about “Mushrooms and Fungi of the Sub Antarctic Island Archipelago” when mycologist Gary Laurensen speaks at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Kachemak Bay Campus.


BEST LIGHT ON BET: Missed Burning Man this year? Heck, Homer has the next best thing with our annual Burning Basket. Mavis Muller just got back from Burning Man last week and she and her fellow arts instigators have been building the basket since Monday. Help out from noon-5 p.m. today through Saturday at Mariner Park. At 1 p.m. Sunday the basket is given to the community, with a potluck at 6 p.m. The basket is burned at sundown. 

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