Update: Oh Deer has closed, and Bambi now operates Missing Melody – see here for more). SLurls have therefore been removed from this article.
Oh Deer is the name Bambi (NorahBrent) has chosen for her Homestead region of Heavenly Waters. Designated as “under construction” at the time of our visit, the region already demonstrates a charm and romance perfect for the Second Life photographer.
“What started as an intimate sweet café grew into an Autumn Dream,” Bambi says of the design, “with the leaves crackling under your feet and the wind blowing in your hair. It’s a place to enjoy this magical season.” And the leaves do indeed pattern the ground and swirl on the occasional gust of wind as this little corner of Second Life sits beneath a cloudy evening sky.
Visitors arrive in a small square lined on two sides by buildings and the third by a red brick wall. The fourth, reached via a short flight of stone steps, looks out over waters reflecting the evening sky towards a little group of islets and floating wooden walkways. A fountain splashes before this waterfront view, formed by a quay-like section of foot path running east-to west across the scene. Steps are also cut into the seaward side of the wall, suggesting perhaps moorings for boats might be added, and with them, a way to reach the offshore islets.
Of the buildings in the little square, these are split between commercial properties on the east side, sitting with portico’d town houses. More shops occupy the west side of the square, extending around to the north facing water front. Centre stage among this little parade, and facing the square, is a glass-roofed café with seating indoors and out. It is a delightfully cosy setting – cosy enough for someone to apparently be settled in for the evening, blanket and cushion draped on a chair, book and magnifying glass on the table alongside a huge mug of cappuccino and a rack of warm toast – and knitting awaiting attention in a carpet-bag occupying another of the chairs at the table.
The windows to the rear of the café offer an intriguing view out to a small alley and courtyard, dominated by the green and yellow flank of an old electric tram. But how does one reach it? There is no door from the café to either the ally or the courtyard.
The answer instead lies in the florist’s next door to the café. Equally as cosy, and with doors flung wide, it offer a route through to the courtyard and a chance to examine the tram and wander the short distance to the door of what was called – at the start of our visit, at least! – Deer Beer, a micro brewery occupying the building directly behind the café. I say “at the start of”, because by the time we were ready to depart, the sign had vanished in a demonstration that things really were still under construction!
Beyond the high wall at the back of the courtyard stands a tall ribbon of woodland – doubtless the cause of the leaves which swirl and flutter their way across the stones of the courtyard and square. Many of these are eventually blown to the waterfront, where they fall to draft lazily on the calm waters below; islands without substance, drawing the eye to the little group of islets further out over the water.
At the time of our visit, these could only be reached by flying – although I hope a rowing boat or two (perhaps a rezzing system?) gets added for reaching them. Connected by wooden board walks floating serenely on the water, and which meander from isle to isle, this little group has much to offer, from cuddle spots and seating areas, to little climbs up hills – and even a touch of gentle autumn rain.
Oh Deer is always an idyllic setting, even though apparently not yet complete. There are some minor little bumps that need smoothing, but nothing which detracts for the serenity of the setting, or which unduly protrudes into a visit.
For the photographer there are many opportunities to be found here, and rezzing is allowed (30 minute auto-return, but do please clear up for yourself afterwards!). Those who do take photos here are invited to share them on the region’s Flickr group. Should you enjoy your visit, please consider a contribution towards the region’s upkeep via one of the tip jars scattered through the scene.