Homer’s Best Bets

Let us pause now and consider the glory of sunrises and sunsets. Holy electromagnetic spectrum! Have we been having some awesome turnings of the planet recently. Except for those bright summer days where the sun barely rises and sets, Alaska can be counted on to deliver respectable sun shows. October has given us some shows that would make the tourists in Mallory Square, Key West, Fla., drop their margaritas.

Here’s the thing about late fall: With the daylight hours shrinking, at least you don’t have to get up early to watch the sunrise. The Betster’s morning commute involves a nice easterly view. Coming down the hill into town or passing over Beluga Lake, the sunrises don’t disappoint. One recent morning the sky glowed in a pink not even found on flamingos, the shades subtly shifting as the sun rose behind Poot Peak.

When the Betster sees a sunrise like that, being like a snoopy photographer and all, the first instinct is to try and capture it for a front page photo. Sometimes, though, cameras fail and you have to revert to poetry or painting.

And sunsets? Well, in fall you don’t have to stay up late to watch them. Recently the Betster went to a birthday party at a new Homer cabin with an awesome western view. At this time of year, the sun sets in that nice little pocket to the left of Mount Iliamna. Often even if it’s overcast there will be a clear band of open sky. When the sun sets, it slides down in the gap between sky and mountains. Clouds above light up, bands of purple blue and more pink. If you watch carefully, you might even see the green flash.

We live surrounded by daily miracles, new art that changes by the minute. It’s all part of the reminder that we live in one of the coolest places on the planet, made even more wonderful by fun stuff to do, like these Best Bets:


BEST LIVE THEATER BET: TheatreShakes students present “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” in performances for students at 1:20 p.m., seniors at 2:20 p.m. and the general public at 7 p.m. on Friday. Cost at the door is $5. Think Shakespeare is out of date? Come experience the energy these young actors put into performing this classic. And, as director Brenda Dolma likes to say: “Thirty minutes is not scary.”


BEST GET A JUMP ON HALLOWEEN: Timeless Toys hosts a Halloween party from 1-3:30 p.m. Saturday. Come in costume and enjoy some treats — and, maybe, a few tricks.


BEST FASHION AS ART BET: Held a little earlier this year, the Annual Wearable Arts Show might be just the place where you can find your Halloween costume or an unforgettable outfit for the Pratt Museum’s Ritz fundraiser. Show times are at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday at Land’s End Resort. Cost is $30 for general admission; Bunnell members get in for $25.


BEST SUPPORT YOUR SALMON BET: Remember David Montgomery, who spoke at Cook Inletkeeper’s Splash Bash over the summer? He’s the author of “King of Fish: The Thousand Year Run of Salmon.” The Salmon Project will hand out 100 free copies of the book from 9-11 a.m. Sunday at Two Sisters Bakery. “The goal is for people to read the book, think about it and then pass it on,” says Erin Harrington, Salmon Project executive director.