Elyjia Baxton has a long association with regions designs in Second Life, be it those of her own, or those created with Brayan26 Friller, and I’ve been fortunate to cover a number of them in these pages. In 2018, she produced Snow Falls, a winter wonderland rich in detail (and later to become A Way of Life – see: Enjoying some Snow Falls in Second Life and A Way of Life in Second Life). Now, for 2019, she has (with Brayan’s involvement) returned to the theme of Snow Falls, turning her current Homestead region The Four Seasons into another winter wonderland.
It’s a setting that has a certain Scandinavian feel in that the region is intended to be surrounded by tall, snow-capped mountains which, together with the crystal clear (and cold-looking) waters, bring to mind a location sitting within a deep fjord.
I say “intended”, because the region seems to be a victim of BUG-225295, which can make whether or not a region surround rezzes something of coin toss. During our first visit, we saw the region entirely sans surround, for example, and when I returned to take the photos seen here, it only popped-up when I was well into the second hour of my visit, despite several attempts on my part to force it to rez.
However, whether or not the surround pops up for you is actually – to me – neither here nor there; the region is attractive in its own right with our without the frame of mountains ringing it. In fact, I’d go so far to say that I found the lack of the surround allowed more of the colours evident in the region’s windlight setting to be better reflected within the region itself – as I hope is apparent in the majority of the photos in this article.
Certainly, the lack of the surround, should it fail to rez for you, doesn’t actually detract from the beauty of the region, which is a wonderful mix of a low-lying landscape running south to north from the landing point, and Arctic-looking waters that cut into it to form channels and bays frozen into stillness by the cold, and on which snow is in places lying.
The landing point, with its parade of shops, offers the suggestions that beyond it, there just might be a bustling town, while the land to the north, with its wooden cabins, stone-build pavilion and gazebos and timber church, speak to the “rural” outlying regions of that town; a place where winter brings with it a sense of Yuletide spirit and celebration by means of crisp walks in the snow and cuddles under blankets before open braziers.
From the shops and landing point, a rutted, snowy track points the north, an invitation to set forth and explore and visit places like the timber chapel, the pavilion and Santa in his gazebo. Along the way, there is plenty of detail to appreciate, from foxes to snowmen to reindeer and more. Rowing boats bravely left out on the water now sit frozen in place, offering more places to sit and appreciate the landscape.
This is very much a place that puts one in the winter spirit: the weather has been handled such that just looking at the setting makes you want to bundle up in warm clothes before going out into the snow and exploring – to the degree that I felt my avatar was positively under-dressed in jeans, shirt and western boots and at risk of catching a nasty cold!
As well as following the main path around the region, there’s also the opportunity to head westwards from the landing point and visit a glass-sided pavilion where shelter from the weather might be found in front of a decorated tree (although a little fireplace would help add to the appeal!). Meanwhile, across the first bridge and off to the east, a cosy little cabin offers a similar refuge from the cold, warmed by a cast iron stove.
Rounded-out by a soft sound scape over which a slightly mournful bell slowly tolls (perhaps bringing to mind the words of John Donne), The Four Seasons offers a rich, wintertime setting for the time of year, with many opportunities for photography. Those taking pictures may like to consider submitting them to the region’s Flickr group.
With thanks to Shawn for the pointer to the region!
- The Four Seasons (Orinoco Valley, rated Adult)