The natural beauty of Oh Deer in Second Life

Oh Deer; Inara Pey, January 2018, on Flickr Oh Deer – click on any image for full size

Update, January 25th: Oh Deer has sadly closed, and Bambi is apparently taking a leave of absence from Second Life.

We made an early return visit to Oh Deer, the Homestead region designed Bambi (NorahBrent), after receiving news from both Miro Collas and Shakespeare that the region had been given a makeover.

Our first visit to the region was made in October 2017, when we found it to be rich in autumn’s charms, offering a mix of buildings and open spaces visitors were welcome to wander in and through. Returning in mid-January 2018, we found that not only has it been redesigned, but the clock has also marched forward, the environment settings perhaps suggesting a late spring morning; a time when the sky hasn’t quite made up its mind whether or not to let the sun in all its glory, but the air is warm enough to raise a morning mist from dew and stream.

Oh Deer; Inara Pey, January 2018, on Flickr Oh Deer

In this iteration of the region, buildings are conspicuous by their absence; not a single house or shop or any other permanent structure is to be found. Instead the land, split by a meandering stream, is given over entirely to nature, rich and greens and browns, with animals, plants and birds adding their own splashes of colour.

From the landing point alongside the single bridge spanning the quiet waters of the stream, visitors are free to wander where they please. Whether this be southwards, along the meandering track pointing away from the bridge, or north over the bridge to where the same track arcs around to take its own winding route south along the far side of the stream, is entirely a matter of choice. Or, if preferred, visitors can strike off the trails, and wander through knee-high grass and between the trunks of tall trees to where the mist hugs the ground, adding an ethereal feel to the landscape.

Oh Deer; Inara Pey, January 2018, on Flickr Oh Deer

Across the land can be heard the sounds of birds, crickets and the rat-a-tat of a woodpecker busy drumming on the stump of a fallen tree.   Squirrels frolic on the ground near the landing point, while fallow deer wander under the branches of trees, their coats as dappled as the sunlight filtering through the canopy of leaves overhead. Further afield, foxes might be seen, while cormorants , osprey, turtles and bear can be found scattered along the banks of the stream as it winds through the land.

This is, in a word, a tranquil setting; a place perfect for finding a little peace and forgetting the hustles and toils of life. To encourage people to tarry a while, picnic baskets sit on benches to one side of the landing point, while a little camp site hides behind the bowl of a tree on the other. It would be nice to perhaps have a couple of places visitors might rest further out from the landing point, where the peace of nature and the playfulness of foxes or rabbits or the wandering of deer might be observed, but this is a minor point.

Oh Deer; Inara Pey, January 2018, on Flickr Oh Deer

Simple and elegant in this iteration, Oh Deer offers a charming rip into the countryside, one suited to being seen in the cool spring light in which it is set, or under the blue skies of summer – as I’ve done with some of the images here. As always, photos can be submitted to the region’s Flickr group.

SLurl Details

  • Oh Deer (Heavenly Waters, rated: Moderate)
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A Scottish bard, balloons, and a mix of sci-fi

Seanchai Library

It’s time to highlight another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s home at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, January 21st, 13:30: Tea-Time with Robert Burns

Corwyn Allen and Caledonia Skytower get ready for Burns Night with some poetry by Scottish bard Robert Burns. Perhaps with a dram or two of whisky on hand!

Burns is the best known of the poets who have written in a form of the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a light Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these writings his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest.

Monday, January 22nd 19:00: The Wolfen

Whitley Strieber is perhaps best known for his book for Communion, a non-fiction account of his alleged experiences with non-human entities. However, his is also a writer of horror fiction, with The Wolfen being his first published novel (1978).

When two New York Police Department uniformed officer are violently killed, detectives Becky Neff and George Wilson are tasked with investigating the incident and bringing the perpetrator/s to justice. The evidence reveals the two uniformed officers were quickly and brutally attacked by some kind of animal – so rapidly, in fact, neither were able to fire their service handguns – one even had his hand and gun ripped from his arm before having time to open fire on his attacker. Worse, both men were disembowelled, their organs devoured.

Gathering the evidence from the crime scene, Neff and Wilson start their investigation by trying to understand what kind of animal might have left the bloody paw prints around the bodies. This leads them down a path that touches on the issue of police corruption which involves Neff’s policeman husband is taking money from certain groups. As more bodies are discovered, Neff and Wilson are drawn into a world where the natural meets the supernatural: the forgotten parts of New York where the abandoned of the city live – and are preyed upon by the Wolfen.

Join Gyro Muggins as he takes us inside Neff and Wilson’s investigations.

Tuesday, January 23rd 19:00: 21 Balloons

Faerie Maven-Pralou reads from William Pène du Bois’ 1947 children’s classic, The Twenty-one Balloons.

A steamship en route across the North Atlantic comes across the strange wreckage of twenty deflated gas balloons and rescue, much to their surprise, a lone man – one Professor William Waterman Sherman.

The professor had last been seen some three weeks previously, departing San Francisco aboard a giant balloon, determined to spend a year aloft and drifting on his own.

Now, as word spreads that the professor has been found alive and well – and in completely the wrong ocean to the one he had last been seen flying towards – the world awaits the story of how he came to circumnavigate the globe in record time, only to be fished from the wreckage of twenty balloons when he had started with just the one. When he has sufficiently rested and recovered after receiving a hero’s welcome on his homecoming, the good professor tells a tale most fantastic…

Wednesday, January 24th 19:00: Fractured Symmetry

In the future and 1,000 light years from Earth, a woman of action works for a reclusive, enigmatic genius…

Blair MacAlister is an expert at Judo, a credible AI hacker, and a certified pilot of craft atmospheric and interstellar. Her favourite weapon is sarcasm, or failing that, her ever-present blaster. Her boss is Terendurr the Black Stone: technical wizard, expert in the ethnography of myriad races, fancier of rare foods and wines, and even rarer fractalites. An Entharion Quadromorph, exiled from his homeworld and under constant threat of assassination, he is also somewhat irritable.

Together they investigate mysteries based on science, in a setting that brings them into contact with all the main races of Civspace: The mysterious Junn, the affable but biologically intense Raylics, the chaotic and powerful Oro-Ka, the commercial minded Keret, and the cynical Phair.

At the centre of their cases are transformative genetic therapies, unlikely fossils, the linked neurology of symbiotes, and more. Terendurr is over 300 years old and has seen and endured the worst and strangest the galaxy has to offer. Will Blair prove as durable as her boss?

Join Corwyn Allen as he reads from Fernando Salazar’s 2017 novel.

Thursday, January 25th

19:00: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

With Shandon Loring. Also presented in Kitely (hop://grid.kitely.com:8002/Seanchai/144/129/29).

21:00: Seanchai Late Night

Contemporary science fiction with Finn Zeddmore.

 


Please check with the Seanchai Library’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule.

The featured charity for January / February 2018 is Reach Out and Read, giving young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into paediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.