Whimberly’s summer fields in Second Life

Whimberly; Inara Pey, April 2019, on FlickrWhimberly – click any image for full size

Surprisingly, it’s been fifteen months since we last visited Whimberly, the homestead region design by Staubi Reilig (Engelsstaub). I say “surprisingly” given the region has always hosted eye-catching designs by Staubi, and has thus has tended to be a place for frequent revisits – as a result of which, it already has three prior appearances in this blog. But given we received a tap from Shawn Shakespeare that region’s look has changed in recognition of spring and the approach of summer, so a further visit seemed more than appropriate.

For those whose thoughts are turning to summer vacations, time in the Sun and away from the hustle of city life and the bustle of crowds, this iteration of Whimberly could be just the way to visualise such a getaway holiday. With a lean toward a Mediterranean feel, the region offers a genteel rural look and feel, dominated by a field of gold that arcs around the southern and western sides of the region, bordered on three sides by rocky slopes that fall away to the seas, whilst washing up against an abrupt rise in land on the fourth, in the lee of which sits a large Tuscan villa.

Whimberly; Inara Pey, April 2019, on FlickrWhimberly

The landing point sits over to the east of the island, on a broad headland topped at a small formal garden. From here a track winds away westwards, dropping down to where a deck sits out over a shallow cove, before rising past an flat-topped upthrust of rock presents a table upon which weeping willows shade a picnic spot, reached via a spiral path. Beyond this, the tack continues onwards to reach that field of gold – and then ending unexpectedly.

North of the landing point, a bridge has been strung across the narrow finger of water that has splits this part of the region into two headlands. With a north facing beach, the land across the bridge offers much to be explored, be it following the grassy path marked by rope lines and the bent figures of trees that appear to have struggled to grow in strong winds, or taking the path eastwards along the rocks above the ribbon of beach.

Whimberly; Inara Pey, April 2019, on FlickrWhimberly

Take the former, and the grassy path will eventually lead you to where a second bridge spans the channel between the bulk of the region and a small island, home to a squat lighthouse below which chairs and an bench offer a most excellent view back across the north side of the landscape. This route also has a path down to the edge of the waters flowing outward from the channel betwixt the two headlands. Here an egret patiently watches the slow passage of water and flowers grow in profusion.

The channel originates at an oval pool of fresh water lying almost at the heart of the region, beneath the high curtain of rock that separates it from the field of gold to the west. A slender ribbon of water drops from this natural curtain, constantly replenishing the pool, the rugged southern banks of which are marked by places to sit and look out over the waters. There are most easily reached via the wooden steps that descend from the back of the villa, passing under a natural arch in the curtain wall of rock in the process.

Whimberly; Inara Pey, April 2019, on FlickrWhimberly

The villa sits as a comfortable home, its two wings built around a walled courtyard with swimming pool, suggesting it is a holiday home, not a working property, despite the field washing against its boundary. Each wing is clearly defined in terms of use: one forms the living area, with bathroom above, the other sits at the kitchen and dining area with the bedroom above, with both upper floors reached by external stairs. It’s the kind of place one could lose oneself at during a vacation, and while it has not real garden of its own, a set of wooden steps sitting just outside the walls on the north side drop down to where a terrace of cut stone sits out over the waters, lit by large lanterns to help with appreciating the sculptures there, and with more seating close by.

Nor is the villa the only living accommodation on the island, however. Further along the northern coast and overlooking the beach, sits a cost wooden summer-house. mounted on a silt-legged wooden platform, this offers a view back towards the lighthouse and along the sands of the beach. It is also comfortably furnished in the manner of a holiday retreat, although it contains Staubi’s office. This appears to be more as a means of advertising her photography and design work, rather than being an actual place of business, as the house is otherwise open to public visits, as is the villa.

Whimberly; Inara Pey, April 2019, on FlickrWhimberly

With chairs and benches and swings scattered throughout, as well as things like the little picnic spot and courtyard and deck seating, this iteration of Whimberly offers plenty of reasons to not only explore, but to sit and stay a while. The openness of the southern and western aspects of the land making it ideal for horse riding, and  – although this should go without saying – there are photo opportunities a-plenty to be had.

Finished with an ideal windlight (that also works well under EEP), and with a rich, natural sound scape, this is a version of Whimberly that – like its predecessors – should not be missed. Should you enjoy your visit, please consider making a donation towards the region’s continued public presence in Second Life, via the donation box at the landing area.

Whimberly; Inara Pey, April 2019, on FlickrWhimberly

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