Sunday, October 23, 2016


Abeja Vineyard

October brings the last of the grape harvest in the Walla Walla Valley. From the looks of it, these were the last few rows of grapes left to harvest in the vineyard along Mill Creek Road. 

Friday, October 21, 2016


Fall Decor & More

With the summer flowers in the garden and patio pots all but spent, and colder, rainier weather forcing indoor pursuits, tis the time for autumnal decorating. Bring on the squashes, gourds, cornstalks, and colorful Indian corn. And if you don't grow these things yourself, Klicker's is where you can find them all, and more.

Yes, you can even buy bundles of dry cornstalks. Imagine that!

Inside the shop, I am particularly smitten with the antique buffalo check tin, but then I love anything red.

Trick or Treat!

Monday, October 17, 2016


A Hometown Halloween Ritual

I've photographed and written about Klicker's in all four seasons because if ever there was an iconic tradition in Walla Walla, Klicker Berries and Antiques would be it. 
On a recent cloudy Friday, with the threat of wind and rain imminent, families with young children and groups of college-age friends were still on the hunt in search of that perfect pumpkin. And even though the traditional giant orange squashes are not grown by Klicker's, and going to the closest Safeway or Wal-Mart would be much easier, it's way more fun to wander up and down the aisles of pumpkins, stopping to judge, measure, and imagine which one will become this year's prized jack-o'-lantern. 

Besides, there's so much more to do at Klicker's than simply picking out a pumpkin as these kids can attest. A pyramid of straw bales holds the giant metal slide that takes kids on a speedy ride down one side while a crowd of camera-ready parents and grandparents record the glee-filled faces. I even spied a college-age young woman taking her turn to the whoops and hollers of her friends close by.

Once is never enough!

Those who know me well, know that I love anything RED, along with old and rusty--
 especially as potential objets d'art for the garden. So this collection of Radio Flyer wagons definitely caught my attention. 
Here at Klicker's they are used to load up with pumpkins, the bigger the better.

Every season has its heyday at Klicker's, and by the end of next month this building along with the grassy field that's now filled with pumpkins will be filled with row upon row of Christmas trees. For now, it houses many of the old and antique items that will eventually fill several rooms in the main store which is in another building nearby.

When I saw this hot-air balloon wind spinner hanging from one of the beams in the Christmas Tree barn, I realized this was the closest I was going to get to photographing the real thing this weekend. Unfortunately, the weather forecast of wind and rain cancelled all but Wednesday morning's Kids' Day tethered lift. The Balloon Stampede, another long-time local tradition, had been scheduled to fill the Walla Walla Valley sky with hot-air balloons all weekend, but it wasn't in the cards this year. Hence this photo.

Remember those menacing clouds? By the time I ventured inside the store to take a few photos, the sky let loose in a flurry of rain and small hailstones which vacated the pumpkin field forcing shoppers into the store and me into my car, or, as seen by this girl, waiting pumpkin in hand under the overhang for the rain to stop.

Friday, October 7, 2016


Where in Walla Walla?

I love looking at and taking pictures of store windows. 
Most retail store windows in downtown Walla Walla change with the season. 
This particular window is always very eclectic, although I am not really sure what business resides inside.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Welcome to the 110th Season of the Walla Walla Symphony

What do you do with 130 orchestra students from Walla Walla's two middle schools and the high school? You invite them to perform in the Walla Walla Symphony's season-opening concert "American Classics" with guest string musicians Mark and Maggie O'Connor. 

Here the young cellists can be seen with their shiny red-brown instruments seated across the front of the Cordiner Hall stage with the violinists standing on both sides along the ramps and continuing in front of the stage. Under the direction of Julie Woods and Caleb Contie, the orchestra teachers at Pioneer and Garrison middle schools, the students performed along with the Walla Walla Symphony a rousing opening number entitled "Fiddler's Dream," an original piece composed by Mark O'Connor. 

O'Connor and his wife Maggie also played along on stage, and from my seat I could see a smile of sheer joy and pride in their faces as they heard the music come alive with these young Walla Walla string musicians.

This photo is by Greg Lehman for the Walla Walla Symphony
The audience was enraptured as well and expressed their approval with a thunderous applause at the end during which time the students exited the stage, instruments and sheet music in hand. After tonight's concert and yesterday's Master Class with Mark and Maggie O'Connor, these string students have had what could be considered a transformational experience.

According to the Program Notes, Mark O'Connor is a multiple Grammy winning musician as well as a six-time winner of the CMA Musician Of The Year award. He was also the youngest person ever to win national fiddling competitions, competing against all ages, amateur and professional, and still is the only person ever to win national titles (open to all ages) on fiddle, guitar, and mandolin. 

Along with his wife Maggie, they are co-directors of of the O'Connor Method Camp NYC. "The O'Connor Method was released in 2009 as 'an American-grown rival to the Suzuki method.' It takes an American Classical approach to modern violin playing, offering a technical foundation using American classics. The groundbreaking method is the first string methid to feature all American music, including violin duos, found in the advanced level of Books IV and V of the series." 

To this concert-goer, tonight's "American Classics" concert, including the students' first piece "Fiddler's Dream" followed by "Appalachia Waltz," "Strings and Threads Suite," and "Double Concerto, Movement 1 'Swing,' was a lively, toe-tapping performance by Mark and Maggie O'Connor and the Walla Walla Symphony. Kudos to all involved!

Sunday, October 2, 2016


Found, One Garden Glove

I don't know what it is about vineyards and garden gloves, but this isn't the first time I've found one single glove hanging by itself on the wires of a grape trellis. In fact, on a recent tour of Woodward Canyon vineyards, I spotted not one but two separate gloves, not mates, hanging at the end of different rows in different sections. Which brings me to wonder, were they abandoned or lost? And what is the difference?