Backyard

Homer embraces Halloween from the Hickory and beyond

Like pretty much everything it does, Homer puts its own stamp on traditions — including Halloween, the day when kids dress up as creepy monsters and beg for candy and people embrace their inner fears. While the Views — Homer’s downtown streets like Mountainview, Bayview and Fairview that end with “view” — fill with trick-or-treaters, to be truly frightened, head to the end of the road for the classic fright fest.

CoastWalk cleans up beaches and monitors ecology

Students from McNeil Canyon Elementary School walking the Homer Spit beaches last Friday have become the latest generation of citizen scientists participating in CoastWalk, the annual fall cleanup and beach monitoring project of the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. While some kids delight in picking up gross trash, CoastWalk also inspires students to monitor beaches for things like erosion, bird and wildlife sightings, human use and other environmental information.

Pinks run in places never seen before in bay

All around Kachemak Bay the past weeks, people have reported large runs of pink salmon in places never seen before — at least in significant numbers. Last week at Beluga Slough, pink salmon ran all the way up into the slough and in a drainage ditch leading to the city’s stormwater drainage system. At Mariner Park on the Homer Spit last Friday, children from Little Fireweed Academy working on the Burning Basket ran up a small creek leading into the slough and yelled “Salmon! Salmon!” at pinks passing by.

Gardeners Weekend explores challenging local climate

Homer gardens can be festive, or restive, refined, or wildly imaginative. Come July 29 and 30: Gardeners’ Weekend, sponsored by the Homer Garden Club, will celebrate the art of gardening in our sometimes challenging climate. The event will kick off with a keynote talk on Saturday followed on Sunday by open-gate tours of five uniquely charming gardens for your viewing pleasure. The tour will culminate in a reception on the lovely grounds of the Bear Creek Winery.

Time to tidepool

What happens rarely, features lots of red-and-green things and brings gifts? Nope — it’s not Christmas, but the big summer low tides. Since late April, a string of minus 4 foot tides have sucked the sea out, exposing rocks and tidepools and revealing sea stars, nudibranches, chitons, anemones and marine invertebrates. Naturalists put on their rubber boots, get out their identification charts and slosh out to sea.

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