Iona Shores, June 2019 – click any image for full size
I’m always a little wary of blogging residential regions for a number of reasons. While many are open to the public to visit, for example, I’m uncomfortable in recommending them where there is a risk that visitor trundling in and out could be off-putting / annoying to those trying to live on them.
To this end, I use a (and admittedly very rough-and-ready) rule of thumb, which encompasses looking at the overall ratio of public and private space(s) in the region, the ease with which a region can be navigated without necessarily encroaching on people’s private residences, general public attractions, whether or not parcel ban lines are in force (often – although by no means always – a sign that people are somewhat narked by the idea of passers-by wandering through the gardens / yards), etc.
Iona Shores is a region that sits almost exactly within in the middle ground between “to blog” and “not to blog”. A homestead region, the landmass is pretty evenly split between public spaces, in which visitors are invited to space time and explore and take photos, and three large rental parcels with, it would seem, room for a potential fourth.
However, there is no doubting the region has been beautifully designed – the work of Adalynne Romano (AdalynneReed), who along with her SL partner, Doc Battitude, is responsible for the delightful Candlewood (see Touring CandleWood in Second Life) and the designs used for Bay of Dream (see The seasons at Bay of Dreams in Second Life and Destiny Gardens (see Destiny Gardens in Second Life). This alone would be enough to bring me to Iona Shores, being an admirer of Adalynne’s work, but the fact it came recommended by Shawn and Max increased my interest; and the rental spaces are clearly enough differentiated from the public spaces to allow for exploration by those not living there.
The landing point sits towards the middle of the region, on a long south-pointing finger that extended itself from the eastern side of the largest of the region’s three islands. A low, cinder-beached promontory rising from calm seas, the headland is dressed as something of an aged garden, completed with greenhouse (the landing point) and paved terrace before it. To the north sits an dry stone wall with tired iron gates marking the way to where the land rises up to a flat crown of fir trees in the midst of which sits one of the three rental properties.
Two bridges sit on the headland, the first forms a double strand of wood and rope reaching across the inlet cutting inland by way of a little nub of rock, to reach a western promontory. Another cinder uprising, it sits a little higher than the landing points and offers the open space that could potentially be used by another house. For now, however, it is topped by trees and a small wooden deck, stone steps leading down to a rough, dark beach on the seaward side.
The second bridge reaches across a sliver of water to where rocks step their way up to a broad plateau where sits the second of the rental homes. The base of this island offers a public path around the south-west of the rocks, passing stepping stones that breach another tongue of water to reach the three of the larger islands, the home to the remaining rental house.
Throughout all of this, there are places to discover: a little studio space, a rowing boat offering singles and couples seating, horses grazing on the scrub grass, while wolves and deer wander parts of the landscape. All of this is watched over by the revolving eye of a lighthouse as trawlers chug by on the waters below it.
Finished with a gentle sound scape, Iona Shores makes for a photogenic and visually pleasing visit. For those seeking a place to living that offers space and a feel for the wilderness, it come offer the ideal home. For the rest of us, it presents a delightful sense of escape.
- Iona Shores (Iona Shores, rated: Moderate)