Dya’s Southern Twilight in Second Life

Dya’s Southern Twilight, October 2020

We received an invitation from Dya OHare to visit the latest iteration of her region builds, “We’re not so far from the Caribbean,” she said, referencing her last design I covered in these pages (see Dya’s Scent of the Caribbean in Second Life). “I’ve tried to show a bit of the Southern Life and I hope you like it.”

So off we hopped to see Dya’s Southern Twilight, a place that presents a rich mix of southern American life in the form of aspects of New Orleans together with sights that might be found in Mississippi and Louisiana. This sounds a lot to cover in a single region, but Dya does a good job of mixing multiple aspects of these states and the Crescent City, with touches that suggest the era of the 1930s-1940s – although it could just as easily be a modern setting.

Dya’s Southern Twilight, October 2020

The region is diagonally split by a river running from the north-east to the south-west, representative of the Mississippi itself. The landing point sides on the north bank of the river, on a road that serves a built-up area suggesting the older parts of New Orleans. Here can be found multiple places of business, side streets with cobbled surfaces and tram tracks, a place where street urchins play (or perhaps whisper plans to hop a tram whilst avoiding the fare), and an open air café awaits patrons.

Also to be found on this side of the river is a touch of the city’s French Quarter. This takes the form of a street overlooked by wrought iron guarded balconies draped with flags, with more fluttering from short poles leaning out from the railing tops. Lights strung across the street help illuminate it, together with the signs for the local bar and the hotel, whilst the end of the street is awash in colours that splashes over aged whitewashed walls from two tall street lamps.

Dya’s Southern Twilight, October 2020

This built-up area is bracketed by sights often associated with New Orleans in film and television: a paddle steamer moored on the river, and a cemetery complete with family mausoleums. For the romantics, one of the Crescent City’s white horse-drawn carriages sits at the roadside as well.

The south side of the river has a small harbour area that connects it to the north side with the assistance of a girder bridge of the kind seen along to Mississippi, but also opens out to contain a suggestion of the bayou, complete with trees rising from misty waters, with cabins potted in the open spaces.

Dya’s Southern Twilight, October 2020

Separated from the bayou by shrubs and dense foliage sits one of the grand old plantation houses associated with the southern states. Set back from the riverside road, it rises from the end of a long footpath, the front door open to invite visitors into the partially furnished interior. Horses graze in the field alongside the the house, whilst a tall hedge guards a small, neat garden to the rear, which also has access to a local beach.

Rich in detail with plenty to discover, appreciate and photograph, Dya’s Southern Twilight continues Dya’s tradition in creating engaging locations for people to visit.

Dya’s Southern Twilight, October 2020

Our thanks also to Shawn Shakespeare for the LM.

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October’s Haunted Hollow in Second Life

via Elite Equestrian and Seanchai library

The season of Haunts and Things That Go Bump In The Night is once again upon us, bring with it plenty to do across the grid. Two groups that are offering a themed quarter-region and events throughout the month are friends of this blog, Elite Equestrian and Seanchai Library, who are jointly presenting Haunted Hollow to one and all.

Once Upon a Time there was an Enchanted Hollow somewhere between the Hudson River Valley and the land of the Brothers Grimm. It was here, under the glow of the Hunter’s Moon, that the tales gathered. They settled in as cooling breezes whirled the falling leaves, nestling between the autumnal heights and that place where the brook waters blend with the salty sea. Mind your step! In the centuries between this moment and when these stories were born, some few of them may have begun to twist, just a very little.

The introduction to Haunted Hollow

Highlights of the event include:

  • A treasure hunt.
  • Skeleton pony companion give-aways.
  • Free Bird’s annual live trick or treat event.
  • Sotrytelling and tales with Seanchai Library.
  • Music events, and more!

Seanchai Library bring tales for the season throughout the month with a programme featuring (all times SLT):

  • 13:30, October 4th, 11th, 18th (Sundays) – Tea Time with The Shadow: tales from the classic radio series, originally featuring the voice of Orson Welles (1937-1938).
  • 19:00, October 7th and 28th (Wednesdays – The Halloween Tree: episodes 1 and 4 respectively of Ray Bradbury’s fantasy novel tracing the history of Samhain and Halloween through the tale of a group of trick or treating boys.
  • 13:00, Saturday, October 17th – Baba Yaga: Caledonia Skytower reads tales of the supernatural being (or a trio of sisters of the same name) of Slavic folklore, who may help or hinder those that encounter her or seek her out, as she appears in assorted roles.
  • 13:00, Saturday, October 24th – The Witch’s Headstone: Caledonia Skytower reads Neil Gaiman’s short story that originally formed the 3rd Chapter of The Graveyard Book, the story of Bod (short for Nobody), the boy raised by the ghosts of a graveyard, and which has also been published as a short story in its own right.
  • 13:30, Sunday, October 25th: Tales of Washington Irving: Seanchai present tales penned by the essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat who is best known for his short stories, including The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Haunted Hollow 2020

The treasure hunt runs through the entire month and starts at the landing point – just click the cauldron or the board behind it for hint, and start seeking out the places within the hollow that are hinted at. There are thirteen locations to find, with prizes awaiting those who take the hunt.

Visitors are also invited to ride the Hollow’s skeleton horses and ponies – simply click on the rezzer boards and make your choice of horse or pony and ride the trails. Rides are available throughout the event, and random (and changing) gifts are offer throughout. In addition, the rides will be opened on three days of the month when registered riders can participate and have the chance to receive a special Animesh, rideable pony-sized skeleton. These special rides will take place as follows (all times SLT):

  • 08:00-09:30, Saturday, October 10th.
  • 17:00-18:30, Friday October 16th.
  • 18:00-19:30, Saturday October 24th.

The Live Trick or Treat events will include a tour of the homes in the hollow – participants are asked to wear suitable costumes! – and will also feature tarot card readings, music and fun. Details will be made available through the information boards at the landing point, so be sure to keep an eye on it throughout the month!

Haunted Hollow – the Headless Horseman!

As you ride through the Hollow, look out for the shoe-like Witch’s House, where spells and potions might be found; and there’s the hut of the Baba Yaga – what might she offer to you? But use caution, as you might note from the surroundings, not all who arrive actually leave…  And while your name may not include “Ickabod” or “Crane”, you will nevertheless come across the Headless Horseman!

Climb the trails and you’ll find the Story Teller’s Ledge, where tales might be heard and music and dancing enjoyed. Further up, and the Fairy Tale Tower awaits. Run by a skeleton crew, its rooms have nevertheless been rented out by the characters of assorted tales.  Could that be Cinderella’s glass slippers left in the tower’s hall, her pumpkin coach carelessly parked alongside? And just who might that mirror, mirror on the wall belong to – take  care after looking into it that you don’t prick you finger on the needle of the spinning wheel left in the middle of the room, or you might be staying at the tower longer than intended!

Whatever your Halloween treats might be, Haunted Hollow may well offer them to enjoy together with its own tricks. So why not pull out your favourite ghostly look or horrorly costume and drop in throughout October to join the fun?

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