You can tell it’s spring because the calendar now says May. Seriously. In some parts of the world people celebrate the month by torching off big bonfires.
Normally, that’s not a good idea in Alaska during fire season, but as you may have noticed, citizens, this has not been a normal spring. Gardeners have been grumping about cold soils — “cold” as in frozen — and the possible demise of precious perennials. Some folks living up in the hills were about to go outlaw and not take off their studded tires, but then the Alaska Department of Public Safety commissioner issued another of those emergency orders and extended the deadline to May 15. Whew.
Meanwhile, a bitter north wind made migration tough for the ginormous flock of geese flying through town. Bucking that northerly might have been why all those geese turned a short layover into an extended pit stop. Birders have been raving about how many geese have dropped in at Beluga Slough. One Snewsie reported so many geese were at a roadside field near Happy Valley there wasn’t room to land. They had a little air traffic control tower set up and big flocks circling overhead waiting for a spot. OK, just kidding.
This is going to be a catawampus spring, but what did you expect? As Rosemary Fitzpatrick, the genius writer of the Kachemak Gardener column, said, “We do live at latitude 59 and a half. It’s not exactly the banana belt.”
Cold or not, that’s not stopping the fun. It’s May. New shops and restaurants are opening for the season, and there’s lots to do, like some of these Best Bets:
BEST BIG NIGHT BET: Hoo boy, is Friday going to be busy. What with some galleries reopening for the tourist season and the big children’s art show at Kachemak Kids at Christian Community Church, it will be hard enough seeing all the First Friday art openings. But wait — you can check out another kind of art, the art of representative democracy, when Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, and Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, hold a Town Hall Meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. at City Hall.
BEST BIG DAY BET: Better hit the hay early on Friday, because Saturday also could be busy. From 9 a.m. to noon it’s War on Weeds, when volunteers tackle the gardens at the Homer Public Library. Or, you could swing by Karen Hornaday Park for a work party from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you’re still not tired, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. it’s time to deliver all that trash you’ve been picking up at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. Fuel up at a the barbecue there. See story, page 2.
BEST BIG NIGHT BET PART DEUX: Relax after all that hard work with a May Day celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Fireweed Academy. There will be a May pole, crafts, food, a dessert auction and more. At 7:30 p.m. at the Mariner Theatre it’s Brahms’ “Requiem.” Or, dance the night away at 8 p.m. at AJ’s Old Town Steakhouse for an after-cleanup party with Elders on Fire.