Recently the Betster took a sojurn to Anchorage for a refresher course, “Why We Live in a Small Town on A Really Awesome Bay.” Sometimes you just have to go north, often on the way to get to someplace else, like the rest of the world. While in Anchorage, the Betster noticed several things:
• People drive a lot there,
• Few streets have only two lanes, and
• There are more ravens than crows in Anchorage.
Over the past decades of living and visiting Anchorage, the Betster has noticed that multi-lane thing a lot. It becomes harder and harder to remember landmarks, since the roads keep expanding and old houses and buildings get shoved aside. If Anchorage keeps this up, everything will be squeezed into a thin patch of land between highways and people will either live underground or in constantly moving motorhomes.
The ravens, on the other hand, are just flipping awesome. Old timers say that Homer used to have more ravens, but the proliferation of fast-food joints and easy pickings from Dumpsters and pickup trucks has led to our town becoming Crow City. There’s nothing wrong with crows, but they lack a certain cachet ravens have. Ravens have big funky heads, scruffy necks and spiky tails. They’re rowdy punks compared to crows. Also, ravens talk, sing, squawk and carry on like a bunch of old guys at poker night after one too many whiskey sours.
We get ravens here in Homer, but mostly up in the hills, and not in big flocks. That would be a congress or unkindness of ravens, to use the proper bird collective nouns. Would it be an unkindness to ravens to call them a congress? If ravens were a Congress, they might bicker and flap their wings and still pass a budget in 90 days.
Somewhere across Kachemak Bay lies the ultimate raven roost. Every now and then while walking the beach, the Betster might see a huge congress of ravens fly along the Spit to parts unknown. That must be pretty darn weird to walk through the spruce forest and look up and see hundreds of big black birds.
Nature still holds mysteries, Betsteroids, but it’s no mystery that there’s lots to do every week, like these Best Bets:
BEST ART SLIDE BET: With this wonky weather, it could be slippery for First Friday — or muddy. Whatever, the art, as always, is awesome. Poet Kevin Goodan does a collaborative show with photographer Adam Ottavi at Bunnell Streets Art Center, and at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bunnell he does a poetry reading.
BEST ROCK SLIDE BET: The Curling Club has some new stones. Before the ice season ends at the Kevin Bell Ice Arena, try out Homer’s newest and slickest sport at 8 p.m. Friday. The drop-in fee is $10.
BEST STATE OF THE DISTRICT BET: Check in with Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, about what’s happening in Juneau this legislative session. He holds a town meeting from 5-7 p.m. Monday at the Legislative Information Office. At noon Tuesday, he also speaks at the monthly meeting of the Homer Chamber of Commerce, this time at the Fresh Sourdough Express on Ocean Drive.
BEST FRIDAY NIGHT BRIGHTS BET: Without any snow this winter it can be pretty dismal, and Friday Night Lights skiing? Forget about it. Brighten up the night, though, with musician Sharon Friesen Schulz. She plays from 4-8 pm. Friday at the Fresh Sourdough Express.
BEST BASED ON THE BOOK BET: If you’ve read Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” for Homer’s Big Read, see what French New Wave film director Francois Truffaut did with the book in his film. It shows at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Homer Public Library.