A trip along Fox Road in Second Life

Fox Road, October 2019 – click any image for full size

Writing about Fox Road has proven to be a little difficult, even after several visits to the region. Designed by Vertiline Colter, this Homestead region is both open to the public for exploration, and home to her Little Fox brand in-world store.

I say “difficult” in terms of writing about it for a couple of reasons. The first is that I’m not entirely sure it is finished: several details, large and small, have changed as I’ve hopped back and forth between the region and home; the most notable perhaps being further landscaping of the north-eastern arm of the larger of the two islands. The second is, that while Fox Road has a personality of its own, I cannot entirely escape feeling an echo of NevaCrystall’s design for Borneo, Gac Akina’s handsome region (which you can read about in  A trip to Borneo in Second Life).

Fox Road, October 2019

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the one is intentionally modelled upon the other; as those of us who travel Second Life are only too aware (and as I’ve occasionally noted in these pages), there are certain things – be they houses, bridges, landscaping elements, board walks, animals, cars, décor pieces, furnishings, etc., that tend to suddenly being en vogue for region designs to the point where it can feel you’re constantly tripping over them. Thus, visiting a region can oft put one in mind of another, quite coincidentally.

Here, the sense of familiarity is perhaps down to the way both regions are laid out: both share a very similar orientation and divide between the larger L-shaped island and the smaller; both feature cove-like beaches of grey shingle, and each has a wild, rugged feel. But Fox Road has more than enough about it to offer its own uniqueness of character.

Fox Road, October 2019

Take, for example the small cluster of buildings just to the south-west of the beach landing point. These have the suggestion that perhaps they was once the location from which fishing boats once put out to sea (something very much enhanced by the presence of two large trawlers in the bay), the old rail lines perhaps used to carry iced catches away to market. However, time areas to have moved on: the main quay where boats may have once come alongside looks to be in a state of disrepair, while the water weed blanketing the surface of the water beneath it suggest any boat attempting a mooring would end up with its propellers fouled.

Meanwhile, the bay formed by the two islands seems to have suffered from at least one land slip that has pushed gravel and shingle out into the water to the point of making it impassable to vessels and leaving the two old trawlers trapped in place – their only other route of escape being blocked by the low-hanging, if also ramshackle, bridge linking the islands. Indeed, one of the trawlers appears to have been here so long, her old hull may have been holed by the rocks of the cliff that plunges into the waters behind her, leaving her waterlogged and listing heavily to one side.

Fox Road, October 2019

The flat top of the main island is reached via a wooden steps and platforms that climb upwards from a shoreline cottage. Decking has been laid  out across the scrub grass of the hilltop as if it might have been put there at some point in time to give vehicles better traction. Now ageing under the Sun and in places in need of repair, a part of it acts as a path pointing the way along the top of the island, while the rest of it almost suggests an outdoor space for music – or at least for splashing around in an old paddling pool that looks as if it might benefit for a little more air being pumped into its sides.

A greenhouse to one side of this deck area, along with one of the buildings down below, gives the impression these spaces are still being used, both having furnishings within. But who might be using them is up to visitor to decide; is it a hermit or hermits with a bohemian lean, or are the barn and greenhouse used as club meeting spaces? Whatever might be the case, it is clear their use is not sufficient to prevent nature slowly laying claim to them, just as it is with the other buildings to be found here.

Fox Road, October 2019

No sound scape was evident at the times of my visits, but those wishing to rez props for photography can do so by joining the Fox Road group – note that auto return is active, but do still please pick up your pieces after use should you opt to rez anything. Those who take photos in the region are invited to share them in the Fox Road Flickr group.

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