A family of trumpeteer swans feeds in Beluga Lake on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. The gray swans, called cygnets, were born and raised this summer. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A family of trumpeteer swans feeds in Beluga Lake on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. The gray swans, called cygnets, were born and raised this summer. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Homer’s Best Bets

Now is the time when Homer hovers in that ambiguous time of summer/not summer. OK, technically fall started last week on Sept. 22, so summer has officially ended. But you know Alaska: We have two seasons, “summer” and “not summer.” How and when we transition from one to the other can really mess with us.

Take any day this week. The mornings started nice and chilly, with frost on windshields. Maybe you pulled on a sweater or even one of those fluffy down jackets. Maybe you wore gloves. Most likely you spent 15 minutes searching in your car or truck for an ice scraper and finally resorted to a credit card. It sure as heck felt like winter, didn’t it?

And then by about noon the sun rose higher, temperatures warmed up and all of a sudden you might have flashed back to mid August, except without the tourists. Away went that jacket and you might even have stripped to a T-shirt. Just as you got used to the warmth, the sun set and by 9 p.m. you were back to winter.

Right. Is this any way to run a season? Hang in there, Betster persons. Soon enough you’ll have the real thing, frost, snow, darkness and all the fun. Seize the sunshine while you have it. Finish up those chores. Do a little more camping. Roll with it and have fun, perhaps with these Best Bets:

BEST FIRST FRIDAY BET: Friday is Oct. 1, which means First Friday is back! Check out all of the cool new art galleries from 5-7 p.m. Friday night. This month, new exhibits from Bunnell Street Arts Center feature artists John Hagen, Kristin Link and Michael Walsh with their group show “Sound of Wind and Grass,” which looks at the intersection of environmental observation and nostalgia. At Homer Council on the Arts, artist Carly Garay presents “The Art of Ancestor Veneration,” featuring the four primary elements as depictions of the world’s greater collective ancestors. Visitors are invited to bring pictures of deceased loved ones to hang on display. Fireweed Gallery is hosting Lorna “Bee” Branzuela who is showing off her photography and paintings. At the Pratt Museum & Park, in commemoration of the two-year anniversary of the disappearance of Anesha “Duffy” Murnane, First Friday will honor her memory. Donations will be accepted for the Loved & Lost Bench being created by artist Brad Hughes that honors Murnane and all the missing. Which exhibits will you check out this First Friday?

BEST MARCH FOR RIGHTS BET: Interested in human rights and marching for a cause? Join women in Homer at the HERC parking lot this Saturday at 11:45 a.m. to participate in the national Women’s March for reproductive rights. The march will end at WKFL Park with speakers at the park. Masks and social distancing are required.

BEST WHERE THE RIVER RUNS BET: The Center for Alaska Coastal Studies’ annual CoastWalk has started. The citizen monitoring and coastal cleanup project invites volunteers to pick a stretch of Kachemak Bay beach to look for environmental changes and pick up marine debris. This year’s theme is “Washed Away,” with a focus on waterways and runoff. To catch trash before it enters the ocean, volunteers are encouraged to clean a river or stream and gather the same information they would on a CoastWalk. CACS provides data sheets, how-to information and even bags to collect trash. Want to learn more and how to sign up? Visit the CACS office at 708 Smoky Bay Way, call 907-235-6667 or email Henry @akcoastallstudies.org.

BEST CIVIC DUTY BET: On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council, Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly District 9 and the Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education District 8. Absentee in person voting is now open at the Homer City Clerk’s office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Election Day is 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5. Running for two Homer City Council three-year seats are Donna Aderhold, Shelly Erickson and Adam Hykes. Running for the one-year Homer City Council seat are Jason Davis and Heath Smith. The candidates running for Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly District 9 are Ashton Callahan, Dawson Slaughter and Mike Tupper. The candidates for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education District 8 are Britny Bradshaw and Tim Daugharty. For more information, call the city clerk’s office at 907-235-3130.

New snow dusts the higher elevations of the Kenai Mountains while birch leaves have begun to turn yellow, as seen on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, from Reber Road in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

New snow dusts the higher elevations of the Kenai Mountains while birch leaves have begun to turn yellow, as seen on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, from Reber Road in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A family of trumpeteer swans feeds in Beluga Lake on Friday, Sept. 24, in Homer. The gray swans, called cygnets, were born and raised this summer. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A family of trumpeteer swans feeds in Beluga Lake on Friday, Sept. 24, in Homer. The gray swans, called cygnets, were born and raised this summer. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

New snow dusts the higher elevations of the Kenai Mountains while birch leaves have begun to turn yellow, as seen on Monday, Sept. 27, from Reber Road in Homer. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

New snow dusts the higher elevations of the Kenai Mountains while birch leaves have begun to turn yellow, as seen on Monday, Sept. 27, from Reber Road in Homer. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

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