December 2014 saw me make an initial visit to Umbral Photography and Umbral, designed and curated by vlady and Coqueta Veeper on their homestead region of Hydra Isles. In that piece, I noted that the region can go through seasonal changes, and at the time of writing back then, the northern hemisphere was in deepest winter, and the region was similarly in the grip of deep snow, and the waters had a decidedly chilly look to them.
Now, half a year later, the snows have thawed, the skies are blue, and the flowers are all in bloom. Summer has come to the region, and with it have come a few changes to the landscape.
Umbral Photography still occupies the southern half of the region, a place devoted to photography (indoors and out), with open rezzing for visitors (please make sure you clean up behind you!).
A stone henge has been added to the landscape since my last visit, standing on a small island a short walk from the landing point. A copse facing cross the main footpath is also, I think, a more recent addition. However, Cory Edo’s delightful summer-house still sits over the water, the little tea party area is still available, and the house offering indoor photo opportunities still stands in the south-west corner, while the tall grass still lines the horizon, marking more distant islets to be explored.
The divide between Umbral Photography and Umbral runs through the henge, but the north side of the island is as open to the public as the south, and as photogenic. There have been some changes here as well; perhaps most noticeably the arrival of a Ferris wheel on the north-east headland, and which has perhaps seen better days.
The principal difference between the north and south parcels of the region, as I noted in my original review, is that the former is home to a club given over to erotica and D/s activities. Visitors are welcome, as long as they follow the guidelines supplied upon arrival, and activities are confined to within the building. However, if this is not to your taste, you might want to focus on exploring the rest of the region.
We’re in the middle of a heat wave here in the UK right now, with temperatures exceeding those of the Mediterranean in some places. Given this, walking through the waters of Hydra Isles had me thinking that the day VR truly arrives will be the day when, while it may be scorching outside, the simple act of stepping into a suitable virtual environment and wading through ankle-deep clear waters can immediately have one cooling down nicely!
I guess that until that does happen, I can take comfort in the fact that this is England, and as such summer will likely be over by Sunday. In the meantime, I’ll keep paddling my feet in the waters of in-world locations like this in the hope of feel just that little bit cooler!
- Umbral Photography (Rated: Adult)