I’m totally up to my ears in a variety of things at the moment, which has had something of an impact on my ability to blog with the usual frequency. Hopefully, I’ll be all caught up over the next couple of days, but I didn’t want to mission the opportunity to write a few words about Swan, the Homestead region held by Keely Mistwood as her personal space, but which she has opened to the public to visit.
The landscaping for the region is by Tab Tatham, whose design work is always worth seeing as she has an considered eye for creating natural environments – as can instantly be seen with Swan.
The region is largely given over to a mountainous off-sim surround that joins with the island to present a low-lying tongue of land extending out into the waters of a bay, several other peaked islands rising from the waters to suggest a coastal archipelago, while the the trees of the lowlands suggest this is somewhere in the northern latitudes.
Rocky in nature and split by a stream that issues from one of the landscape’s rocky faces, the landscape is rich in fir and oak and climbs back to a high table close to the mountain backdrop, a finger of rock connecting the two, a screen of trees helping to curtain the join between region landscape and surround.
This high bluff has prevented the sea complete separating the headland from the mountain, and thus turning it into an island. To one side is a channel that has eaten its way between headland and mountains; on the other is a sheltered arc of beach reached by wooden steps that descend from the flat top of the rock and watched over by a wooden deck.
The top of the plateau is largely given over to Keely’s house, which like the rest of the region, is open to the public. It has a delightfully bohemian feel to it, the indoor spaces open and breezy, seamlessly with the decks around it, and a cool looking rocky pool alongside in place of a more traditional swimming pool.
Packed with detail, the house looks down on a further curved bay, this one with shingle rather than sand, this one arcing to another, lower table of rock, home to a more traditional swimming pool. It can be reached via the wooden steps leading up to the house from the landing point or via one of two zip lines.
The second zip line descends to the north-east and the tip of the headline, where an old cabin, now converted into a hidden summer house – although be warned that the trip down the line will take you through the local fir trees, so you could end up getting a few slaps from the boughs!
Between the cabin / summer house and the landing point, the land is again rich in detail beneath the canopy of trees. Here might be found an open-air theatre, old terraces, open walks, decks and more, all making for a richly photogenic setting – although you’ll need you own pose HUD for avatar photography, as Keely hasn’t opened rezzing the region to avoid littering.
Superbly made, packed with opportunities to wander and / or relax (including the little island off-shore, although you’ll have to fly to it), Swan is a perfect destination for the SL traveller. I’m not sure if Keely intends to keep it open to visitors or if it may be a limited time opportunity to make a visit; so if you’re interested, hopping over sooner rather than later might be the way to avoid disappointment.
- Swan (rated: Moderate)