Sol Farm – click any image for full size
In looking back through my notes on regions visited in these pages, I came across Sol Farm, a place we first visited just over two years ago (see A Day at Sol Farm in Second Life) but had failed to return to in the intervening time. So I suggested to Caitlyn we hop over and take a look at what may have changed over the past 25 months.
During our first visit to this Full region, designed by Show Masala that utilises the additional 10K Land Capacity option available to private regions, I noted it to be:
A largely rural setting, centred around Sol Farm, complete with thatched farmhouse, fields of crops and livestock, outbuildings, and many of the mechanical accoutrements of a working farm. However, there is much more here than may at first be apparent.
This is still very much the case. In fact, on first arrival, I wondered if anything had changed since our original visit or if the region had settled into one of those wonderful places that, rather than offering new looks to entice visits and exploration, instead preserve its original look and feel, making it an attractive and familiar place to re-visit, where memories can be re-awoken be familiar sights.
For example, the thatched farmhouse with its fields are still there, sun-ripened crops looking ready for harvesting. Also still in evidence is the Mediterranean villa to the south of the farm, complete with its suggestion that it is perhaps a holiday home; while off to the west from the landing point the familiar Ferris wheel of an old fun fair breaks the horizon, as does the rocky knob topped by a lighthouse and pavilion.
But first looks can be a little deceiving: Sol Farm has changed over the intervening time. Thus, for those both new to the region or those who have perhaps visited it in the past but have not returned of late, it makes for an engaging and in places a quirky visit, with much to occupy the eye and camera.
The quirkiness can immediately be evidenced when using the SLurl given in this article. When looking west from the landing point in provides, it is hard to miss the blue whale serenely and slowly circling through the air over the farm, a small wild garden apparently growing on its back (and on in which you can ride for an aerial view of the region). But it is not the only twist to this setting.
It is also to the west that I spotted another change from our last visit. What had once been a large house occupying its own island connected to the rest of the region via a wooden board walk, is now a headland where another crop is ripening and which ends in a rocky promontory, where sits the most eclectic little group of houses, both on the ground and up in the trees, a little wind turbine supplying them with power.
During our January 2017 visit, I noted in passing the presence of a little Japanese village occupying the west side of the region, but somewhat separated from it by a rocky curtain wall. This is still present and open to visitors (just follow the track around the island to the east and under the Torii gate sheltering beneath a rocky arch, or take the north side beach eastwards until you come to it). However, it now offers another odd little quirk, being the home to a host of cats. And not just any cats; these all stand upright as they go about their business, a large part of which appears to involve some kind of festival.
There are many elements that bring this setting together as a landscape painting made real. The first, perhaps are the rutted tracks that run through the region. These link the various points of interest – the farm, the villa, the broken old fun fair, the Mediterranean farm alongside it and the north-western headland – into a cohesive whole, giving the feeling you’re really travelling through a place. Another is the use of farm animals, sheep, horses, cattle, that neatly help stitch the central farm and the western lands together. Then there is the rich sound scape that perfectly enfolds everything.
Stay within the region long enough, and you’ll discover another somewhat unique element to it: the weather. Every so often a small tornado will pass through, bringing with it a squall of rain, the wind tossing bits and pieces of rubbish into the air which fall back to Earth in the storm’s wake before vanishing along with the storm itself.
Beautifully conceived from farm to beaches to houses and village, richly detailed and presented, Sol Farm remains a photogenic joy to visit.
- Sol Farm (Story of Infinite, rated: Moderate)