Northern lights glow about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, over Diamond Ridge near Homer, Alaska. At times the aurora spread in a long arc from east to west. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Northern lights glow about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, over Diamond Ridge near Homer, Alaska. At times the aurora spread in a long arc from east to west. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

Everyone talks about the Ides of March, but does anyone care about the Ides of September? That would be Saturday, the 15th.

Oh, sure, the Ides of March get all the glamour what with Willy Shakespeare’s Roman play. Stab a glorious leader in the back and it taints a month forever.

Not so with September. Mid-month now means sandhill cranes staging for the big flight south, the last hardy Spit survivors hanging in there for one more cruise ship and grumpy gardeners refusing to plow their plots into compost.

In the spirit of Brother Asaiah, we’re groovin’ on the vibe of this month. Sometimes September can be one big gully washer. Sometimes it can be an early frost, a gully washer and an overnight painting of the Kenai Mountains in termination dust.

Not this month. Oh my. The Betster got two solid weekends of camping in, including a distant corner of the Kenai with spotty cell phone reception. If you think humanity did not evolve to stare at glowing screens, this is a good thing. Top off sunshine with a few nights of grade 5 and 6 northern lights and we’re talking consciousness alteration, the good kind that doesn’t involve illegal hallucinogens.

Really, Ghost of Timothy Leary? You think LSD is better than staring up into a clear night sky as ripples of wild light roar across the heavens? Get high on cosmic particles slamming into the earth’s atmosphere, brothers and sisters.

Also, now would be the time when our toilers in tourism can finally take naps. Fishermen come home. People off in field camp return, a bit smelly and ready for fresh clothes. Moose hunters cruise back, perhaps with meat for the winter, but definitely with some good stories.

Welcome home, Betsteroids. We finally got summer, but fear not, the fun has only just begun, like these Best Bets:

BEST LITWAZEE BET: Throw a Mont-Blanc fountain pen into the crowd at the Burning Basket, and odds are you’ll bonk a member of Homer’s literary community — the litwazee, as the Betster’s friend Jimmo calls it. Welcome two new members tonight at 6 p.m. at the Homer Public Library with a celebration of the release of their new books: Cassondra Windwalker’s “Bury the Lead” and Betty Epps Arnett’s “22 and the Mother of 11.”

BEST BEER AND BREAD BET: Well, Grace Ridge Brewery calls it “Barley & O.A.T.S,” or “Outdoor Adventure Talks.” At 5:30 p.m. tonight at the brewery, our own Homer Farmers Market columnist Kyra Wagner and husband Neil Wagner talk about their exciting eight-day trip from Taylor Bay to Tutka Bay on the newest trail of Kachemak Bay State Park.

BEST THAR SHE BLOWS BET: Join scientists from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Baycrest Overlook for Belugas Count! It’s part of a region-wide event to search for endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales. Biologists will be one hand to help spot and identify marine mammals. Bring binoculars, spotting scopes and sharp eyes.

BEST BIG VOICES BET: Yes, among other talents in this town, we have some world class opera singers Emily Reidel, Eston Jerami Youngblood and Elsa Bishop. Hear them in “Guilty Pleasures Opera” at 5 p.m. Sunday at Bunnell Street Arts Center, part of its September concert series. Admission is a suggested $15-25.

More in Life

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Downtime

Now here we are, two-thirds of the way through the longest month of the year

Robert “Bob” Huttle, posing here next to Cliff House, spent the night in this cabin in April 1934 and mused about a possible murder there. (Photo courtesy of the Huttle Collection)
Twists and turns in the history of Cliff House — Part 2

How much of the doctor’s actions Bob Huttle knew when he stayed in Cliff House 10 years later is difficult to know.

Achieving the crispy, flaky layers of golden goodness of a croissant require precision and skill. (Photo by Tresa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Reaching the pinnacle of patisserie

Croissants take precision and skill, but the results can be delightful

This 1940s-era image is one of few early photographs of Cliff House, which once stood near the head of Tustumena Lake. (Photo courtesy of the Secora Collection)
Twists and turns in the history of Cliff House — Part 1

Here, then, is the story of Cliff House, as least as I know it now.

File
Minister’s Message: What’s in a name?

The Scriptures advise, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”

Visitors put on personal protective equipment before an artist talk by Dr. Sami Ali' at the Jan. 7, 2022, First Friday opening of her exhibit, "The Mind of a Healthcare Worker During the COVID-19 Pandemic," at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
ER doctor’s paintings follow passage of pandemic

Dr. Sami Ali made 2019 resolution to paint every day — and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Almond flour adds a nuttiness to this carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: A ‘perfect day’ cake

Carrot cake and cream cheese frosting make for a truly delicious day off

File
Minister’s Message: A prayer pulled from the ashes

“In that beleaguered and beautiful land, the prayer endures.”

A copy of “The Year of Magical Thinking” by author Joan Didion is displayed on an e-reader. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Didion’s “Year of Magical Thinking” is a timely study on grief

‘The last week of 2021 felt like a good time to pick up one of her books.’

Megan Pacer / Homer News
Artist Asia Freeman, third from left, speaks to visitors on Nov. 1, 2019, at a First Friday art exhibit opening at Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer.
Freeman wins Governor’s Arts Humanities Award

Bunnell Street Arts Center artistic director is one of nine honored.

Zirrus VanDevere’s pieces are displayed at the Kenai Art Center on Jan. 4, 2022. (Courtesy Alex Rydlinski)
A journey of healing

VanDevere mixes shape, color and dimension in emotional show