An adult swan leads three young swans, or cygnets, across Beluga Lake last week. Another adult swan was nearby.-Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

An adult swan leads three young swans, or cygnets, across Beluga Lake last week. Another adult swan was nearby.-Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Homer’s Best Bets

The other day the Betster and some friends debated whether or not it would rain on a holiday weekend. “It’s Alaska, in September,” the Betster said. “What do you think?”

Anyone who has lived here long enough — say, two weeks — knows that Alaska weather can be pretty darn fickle. If you want consistent weather that is the same day after day after day, try the southwest. Also, practice saying, “But it’s a dry heat,” a lot.

If you read the fine print on the Alaska Department of State immigration packet, you might have noticed section 12.47.92(b): “Good weather cannot be guaranteed and in fact is the reason why Alaska doesn’t have a lot of people. If this is a problem, just stay home.”

OK, the Betster jokes. You don’t need an immigration packet to settle in Alaska, not if you’re a citizen of these United States. All you need is transportation, a pocket of loose change and a lot of gumption. But you knew that. Wouldn’t it be cool, though, if potential immigrants had to read some honest-to-goodness advice about moving to Alaska? I mean, other than the 87 reality shows set in Alaska.

If you know Alaska weather, you know September is to the rest of the months as Alaska is to the rest of the United States. It’s funky and unpredictable. But cheer up. Once we get through this month, weather starts being more consistent. No, we don’t want to think what consistent means, but here’s a suggestion: Fill up the woodshed. Top off the fuel oil tank. Power up the natural gas line.

Oh, and there’s one more thing about September. If you’re here still, you’re either a tough tourist — in which case, awesome — or a genuine Alaskan. Celebrate that achievement, perhaps with some of these Best Bets:


BEST READ ON RON BET: The Betster’s friends in the Homer literary community say that writer and novelist Ron Carlson is awesome. Check him out at 6:30 p.m. today when he reads at Kachemak Bay Campus.


BEST SING AWAY BET: The 21st annual Kachemak Bay Wooden Boat Festival starts today with the popular “Sea Chanteys, Tall Tales and Fisher Poets.” It starts at 7 p.m. at the Salty Dawg — where else? The wooden boat fest continues with High Seas Movie night on Friday, the boat show on Saturday and Sunday, and a big party at Alice’s Champagne Palace, all on the theme “Year of the Kayak.” (See related story.)


BEST BIG ART BET: Two of Homer’s most experienced artists show their work at First Friday openings. Catch Karla Freeman’s show at Bunnell Street Arts Center and Toby Tyler’s show at Ptarmigan Arts. Many more great shows open Friday, too. (See related story.)


BEST POETRY OUTDOORS BET: Poet Wendy Erd, an Old Town visiting artist, takes words outside with “Writing from the Edge of Place,” 3:30-6 p.m. Tuesday at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Keep your boots on, though, because Erd heads outside with the class. It’s free, but registration is limited. Bring paper, pen and warm clothing. Call Bunnell at 235-2662 to register.


BEST UH-OH BET: When the ground starts shaking, you know what to do, right? No? Then check out Disaster Preparedness Day from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at the Homer Public Library and learn how to prepare for and survive a disaster.


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