I was a little stunned to realise that it’s been close to two years since I last blogged about Devins Eye, the Homestead region designed by Ally Mildor & Roy Mildor (and which is also their home and the base for their store).
Always an eye-catching place to visit, Devins Eye currently sports a wide-open setting much in keeping with past designs, and with the familiar care and eye for detail Ally and Roy share with their designs, set under what resembles a spring afternoon sky.
On that last occasion of a visit, we found the region was enclosed in a off-sim surround; this time it stands alone, and in doing so offers a very defined island setting with an equally clearly defined north-south orientation in which the landing point lies slightly off-centre to the east, caught between the rugged southern uplands and the northern dimpled coastline.
Such is the lie of the land, that standing on the grass of the landing point, the land sloping and stepping upwards to the south and dropping gently down to the waters of the north, it’s entirely possible to imagine Devins Eye not so much as an island but a stretch of inter-coastal lowlands backed by a spine of hills that conceal the lands beyond them from view.
This is a place of wonderful contrasts and settings, perfectly blended together into a whole that is an honest delight to explore – and one of the best ways to do so is on horseback. Sadly, scripts are turned off within the region which means that if you want to ride your own wearable horse, you must mount it before teleporting to the region. Fortunately, a rezzing point close by the landing point is available to offers “local” horses to riders.
Buildings are few and fair between, adding to the richness of the setting, while the age and condition of some of them offer a sense of life and history to the island. To the south and at the end of a climbing walk among the hills sits a Tuscan villa. Reached via a grassy path that passes through iron gates and between blankets of lavender floors, it crowns the region, looking down from on high across the lowlands to the west and north.
Down on that coast sits an old pier, home to a squat radio shack, long since converted into something of a den for visitors. This and the villa make up the two main fixed “residential” structures on the island, although scattered between them is an old stone cone of a windmill, its ageing sails still turning, a trailer home that has seen better days, and a small hut occupying sitting on a pier extending into the waters of the region’s lake, watched over by a tall water tower. Power lines are strung across one side of the region, held aloft by a marching line of wooden poles – but whether they still offer a service is debatable – they start and end without connecting to anything.
The age and lie of the buildings provide a sense of the history I spoke of above, giving the island a feeling of being lived in – something readily apparent of the hints of ruins and aged cut stone the are scattered across the grasslands. But there are also signs that this is also a place that is still being renewed: two new looking, stout bridges span the fast-flowing stream that flows out to the sea from the island’s lake, and the water tower is obviously maintained.
Another attraction to the region is the low coastal region to the north. Broken by humpbacked, rocky hills and shingle banks, this coast shares the sense of age of other parts of the region, inlets hiding a variety of elements from wreck fishing boats and rowing boats to places to sit while more sprays of lavender provide a colour link to the higher slopes. Poppies also add their colour to the region – in fact it is the colour casts by the flowers, lavender plants, poppies, yellow daisies, white wildflowers, and so on – that provide more of the region’s depth.
Cut by pools and streams, rising from water’s edge too high hills, there is nothing that can be found in Devin’s Eye that isn’t immediately photogenic, the entire region finished by an ideal windlight and a gentle sound scape. It’s a place of quite remarkable views and quite original features – full kudos to Yvonita Dash for her composite creation ~ xantes ~ Tears Rock, and to Roy and Ally for using it.
Simply put: not a region design not to be missed whether you are seeking a place for photography or for a like romance – or to experience a sense of the outdoors at a time when we’re all being encouraged to minimise out time outdoors.
- Devins Eye (Devins Eye, Moderate)