Missing Melody – click any image for full size
The heat of summer has left the grass long and golden, roots reaching deep into the soil to gain moisture. Closer to the local stream and river, the grass and moss are still green, benefiting from both the plentiful water seeping into the land on either side of the waterways and from the shade offered by tall trees of a rich woodland. But the seasons are turning; the sky offers a paler Sun than might have been blazing down in the midst of summer and the trees are slowly losing their canopies of leaves, scattering them across the ground below, where their gold and reds form a slowly decaying carpet and litter the calm surfaces of the river’s arms.
Such is the tranquil scene awaiting visitors to Missing Melody, a Homestead region designed by Bambi (NorahBrent). Still under construction, it is nevertheless open to those wishing to explore it, offering a beautiful autumnal look and feel with – at the time of our visit at least – a delightfully minimalist approach to a setting Bambi describes as a “shabby rustic theme”; an approach I hope continues through to the region’s completion in this form, and things don’t become too crowded.
The yellowing grass sits at the northern end of the island, lapping around the broken tower of an old windmill and appearing to leave a tractor stranded within the waves of seeded grass heads as sheep graze fitfully. From a distance, it might be easy to mistake the grass for a field of corn and the lodge sitting close by for a farmhouse. Closer examination, however, reveals the truth of the grass, while the lodge appears to be more of an artistic retreat than part of a working farm.
An unsurfaced road, rutted and marked by rocks on either side runs past the lodge and points the way south to where a bridge reaches over a branch of the river (almost the landing point) to arrive at a little café. Such little places are very much a staple of many regions designs, offering places to sit and perhaps cam around the setting.
Between lodge and café, the road runs through the region’s woodland and past an old shack that fits the region’s shabby theme perfectly while also offering a cosy interior with a rich homeliness about it. Behind the shack, a path directs feet towards a deck reaching out over the coastal water. This almost – but not quite – reaches an off-shore fishing shack converted for use as a little snug for couples.
Eastwards from the road, the land gets a little more rugged in nature. Bridges and steps offer a way up among the rocky humps, passing a wrought iron gazebo and passing over tumbling falls to reach a shabby platform of a tree house before the land tails off into a small headland dominated by a great water tower.
The theme of music is presented here not only in the region’s name, but also in the way the wrought iron gazebo offers a home for a musical trio of guitar, piano and drums, with pillows, logs and benches set out under strings of lights bulbs to offer space for an audience should musicians arrive.
Meanwhile, the idea of a missing melody is perfectly framed by the weathered form of an old grand piano sitting behind the hunter’s lodge. Apparently being slowly claimed by nature, the piano would appear to be more of an artistic statement, carefully placed with sheet music anchored by vines, while an old curtain or blanket hangs from the ppiano’s closed lid. The placement of these, and the little models of two little robins, perhaps giving the lie to the piano simply having been abandoned and add to the idea that the nearby lodge is the residence of someone with an artistic bent.
There are a lot of little touches through Missing Melody – picnic benches along the roadside, little snuggle points scattered around the landscape; deer to be found within the woodlands with their misted ground, and plenty of opportunities for photography (rezzing is permitted with auto return set to 60 minutes – but do remember to clear up props ahead of that limit).
Yes, there are a couple of rough edges – trees floating over water, for example; but again, this is a region still under construction, an matters like that will be addressed. In the meantime, Missing Melody is already a photogenic destination – and our thanks again to Shakespeare and Max for the nudge in suggesting we visit.
- Missing Melody (Aftershock, rated: Moderate)