A Cherished visit in Second Life

Cherished; Inara Pey, November 2018, on FlickrCherished – click any image for full size

Cherished is the latest region design from Arol Lightfoot that opened recently to visitors. A homestead region, it differs from the current trend towards wintertime themes and opts to stay with autumn, as Arol loves that time of the year – and I can’t say I blame her.

This is  – as would be the case given Arol is responsible for its design – a fabulous region, uncluttered by an off-sim surround and offering plenty to see and enjoy as your travel through it. A visit begins out on the east side, on a headland sitting between a small bay and a narrow channel of water that cuts deep inland. A single cabin sits here, connected to a the rest of the region by an ageing, low-slung bridge running over a rocky finger.

Cherished; Inara Pey, November 2018, on FlickrCherished

A track points west from the bridge, leading the way to where the ground rises to a rocky bluff, bracketed on one side by the water channel and on the other by a path that leads either up to the top of the bluff or down to where another track continues inland. The bluff, with a second bridge running between it and a rocky hill on the far side of the channel offers the perfect vantage point from which to observe the rest of the island.

To the west stands a large house, the only genuine abode to be found on the island. Calling it a farmhouse, however, would perhaps be misleading; while there is a barn close by and a traditional American-style windmill, the house itself seems too big and grand to be a working home. Rather, it has the feeling of being a coastal getaway home, one complete with swimming pool – albeit drained and partially covered ready for the eventual arrival of winter, and a luggage-laden (if humble) VW Beetle parked outside.

Cherished; Inara Pey, November 2018, on FlickrCherished

Cows are grazing outside of the barn, while horses shelter within it – together with a couple of turkeys – but not even the presence of a tractor close by can leave visitors with a feeling this is all part of a working farm; so perhaps the horse are purely from the riding pleasure of those using the house, and the barn is under the care of the landowner who otherwise rents the property out.

The main body of water extending inland turns south close to the house, running before the barn and facing it across another track, before turning east once more to end in a narrow, reed-lined pool from which morning mist slowly rises. This southern and western extent of the island is a rough grassland and rolling humps of grey rock, standing like a frozen tide caught in time as it rolled over the landscape. Tall trees grow throughout, presenting plenty of discrete spots where deer roam and people can camp out in peace.

Cherished; Inara Pey, November 2018, on FlickrCherished

To the north, the land beyond the little headland and its landing point is gently rugged, but more denuded of trees. A low ridge angling away from the rocky bluff here offers a good place to appreciate the lighthouse sitting on is own rocky spur, as it is framed against the early morning Sun.

What might be a fisherman’s dock sits between the arms of the headland the lighthouse spur, and testimony of the dangerous nature of the waters here can be found in the wreck of a fishing boat lying close to the lighthouse rocks.

Cherished; Inara Pey, November 2018, on FlickrCherished

Throughout the region are places for individuals and couples to sit and appreciate the setting, while the trails offer plenty and very clever, given the way they tend to naturally connect to one another, opportunities for exploration. Similarly, the gentle sound scape included with the region offer a very subtle added depth to the setting, further encouraging time to be spent within it.

Unsurprisingly, this is a highly photogenic region, one in which photography is actively encouraged, as Arol notes in the About Land description, “If you take photos and want to share please add them to the Flickr group. I would love to see them!”

Cherished; Inara Pey, November 2018, on FlickrCherished

For those not quite ready to face exploring all the winter themed regions popping up over the grid, or who need a break from the snow and ice, Cherished is likely to make for an ideal visit. Appreciation for Arol’s work can also be shown by “feeding” the Labrador inside the cabin at the landing point. My thanks to Shakespeare for the landmark!

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