Fall Trace, Tranquil Bay – click any image for full size
In November, Caitlyn and I dropped in to Winter Trace, one of the three seasonal Trace regions in Second Life designed by Kylie Jaxxon and Elvira Kytori – see my article here. At the time of writing, I noted that we had yet to visit Fall Trace, so having spent some time bouncing around wintry regions, we decided to spend a lazy Monday taking a look.
As the name suggests, Fall Trace offers an autumnal look and feel, with Eliva taking the lead in the design, and Gnaaah Xeltentat providing additional support. The presentation is that of a low-lying marshland, perhaps at the estuary of a slow-flowing river. The land is flat and reedy, much of it under a shallow covering water, across which trees coloured in autumn’s golden hues stand sentinel.
This is a wildlife haven: deer stand in the ankle-deep water, appreciative of the tall grasses growing along the edges of the various water channels, watched by geese and black swans on the water. Cormorants and pelicans vie for perches on the posts supporting the wooden board walks which snake across the landscape, while crows wheel overhead.
The board walks offer visitors a dry means of getting around a lot – but not all – of the region. From the landing point, they run eastward before curling north and then back to the west, branching periodically to offer access to the stilt-mounted cabins and shacks or pointing the way to little decks with seating. Roughly half way around this arc of walkways sits a houseboat, smoke wafting from its stack, testament to the warmth inside.
South of this main route around the region, across a broad swathe of water, sits a little group of islands, another board walk running along them. These are home to a social deck with music, a tree house and, at their eastern end, a small shack. Two more shacks lie to the north-east, whilst dotted around the region are rowing boats and poses offering plenty of opportunities – along with the deck seats noted above – for sitting and watching the wildlife or enjoying time with a partner or loved one.
It seems that airboats were at one time available for getting between the main board walk and these outlying areas, but the rezzers were disabled on our visit; we assumed they’d proven too disruptive to the local wildlife. Getting across the water is therefore a case of getting feet wet and wading.
Set under a cloud scudded autumn sky, the sun low on the horizon, bathing it in a soft golden glow and scattering glimmering reflections over the water, Fall Trace offers a peaceful haven when so much is rush, rush, rush at this time of the year. It perfectly accompanied by an ambient sound scape, and offer considerable scope for the photographer.
I confess to having some performance issues during our visit – the region and my PC just did not want to play nicely, forcing me to turn off options such as shadows when moving around. However, this wasn’t a major inconvenience, and certainly didn’t in any way diminish my impressions of Fall Trace.
- Fall Trace (Tranquil Bay, rated: Moderate)