Ash Falls – click any image for full size
Updated, September 4th: As per the comment below, Ash Falls now requires the payment of a group joining fee in order to access the region.
Ash Falls is a homestead region build by Leaf and Birdy Moone, and it is an absolute delight to visit. Softly lit by the last rays of a lowering Sun, setting slowly to the south, such is the sheer beauty of the region it deserves to be seen both under its natural windlight (Bryn Oh’s Mayfly) and something a with a little more daylight.
A v-shaped island facing the south-east, cradles a broad, flat beach within its rocky, wooded arms. But this is not the familiar sandy beach so often seen throughout Second Life; it is a cinder beach, the sand dark and course, suggestive of having been created over the ages from the aftermath of many volcanic eruptions. Behind it to the north and east, the rugged backbone of the island offers paths and tracks to be followed, shaded cuddle nooks to be found – and more besides.
The landing point sits at the end of the northern arm of the island’s rocky V, a stone terrace of some age, with walls partially bracketing it on two sides. A short walk from here in the evening’s light, are wrought iron gates offering access to a broader terrace, complete with parasolled seating, quiet water features and a splashing fountain.
A grassy avenue points the way eastwards, lit by tall lamps and bordered by thick bushes. A set of wooden steps just to the right at the start of this path presents a way down to the beach, while the end of the trail is marked by a wooden platform overlooking a deep, square quarry, long disused and now semi-flooded. Water drops free and clear from falls to one side of this square basin, while lanterns drift and turn on eddies of air, floating over another platform built over the waters of the quarry.
A coffee-house sits at the edge of the small inlet cutting into the beach, straddling sand and the gentle wash of the tide. It offers seating inside and out, and is watched over by cuddle spots further up the beach towards the rocky uplands. Head east along the beach, and you’ll pass a narrow opening cut through the rocks providing access to the old quarry. Not far from this is a slope leading up to an old shack and barn, perhaps once associated with the quarry, but now evidently a home to someone. Follow a grass path between tall fir trees from here, and you’ll discover another snuggle spot and steps leading down to a little cove caught in a very localised rain storm!
Further around the beach, east of the slope leading to the old shack, are wooden steps offering the way up to another path. This runs up between a line of rock on one side and a high-banked slope on the other to where a much grander house sits upon the eastern headland. Both this house and the shack are open to the public to explore, and a further trail curls away from the area in front of the house, leading the way to a cosy outdoor theatre, surrounded by trees and bushes.
Ash Falls is a beautifully scenic setting, perfect for photography, exploration, and simply wandering / sitting. It’s perfect for a getaway, and ideal for resting the mind.
- Ash Falls (Picture Perfect, rated: Moderate)