Solus is a Homestead region held by Vita Camino that she recently opened to the public as a place to visit and appreciate and where they can also see her mesh and ground textures in use.
For those who may be feeling a little over-exposed to Halloween and all its ways – even before we get to it – this is a region that can offer some relief (although there are still touches of the season to be found). Within the region, visitors will find an autumnal, rustic setting within its lowlands areas whilst its highlands present a more winter-like setting and a promise of the end-of-year season to close. All of which makes for a rich setting to explore and photograph.
The landing point sits on the lowlands alongside what at first might appear to the a ribbon lake, but is in fact an inlet that meanders its way deep into the landscape. A dirt track curls around its innermost extent, the landing point sitting on the grass between track and water. To the east, the road, occupied here by an old pick-up truck, rises up the first part of the region’s highlands, turning south and passing an old stone farmhouse built into the hill as it does so.
Passing a wall of rock, the road quickly – and frighteningly, if you’re contemplating driving up or down it – steepens, passing from the greens and golds of autumn below to the depths of winter on the hilltops. Here fir trees stand in rows and hoar frosted tress stand over a frozen pond, and a Christmas tree shop is already open for business. However, someone appears to have opted for taking a sapling from the copse of fir trees , placing it into the back over their pick-up truck as it sits on the road.
A sign by the truck promises a camp site along the flat tops of the hills, but after passing around the fir trees, the road drops back down to the the east side of the region and into the autumnal setting once more. Here old telegraph poles march along the roadside and geese wander along it, as it comes to an end in a broad area of flat land at the water’s edge.
Here the land is occupied by a couple of buildings: a cottage for rent and an old industrial unit that may also be a place that could become available for rent, although at the time of our visit, it was standing empty and unmarked. The cottage has been extended with decks serving both its lower and upper floors, connected by wooden stairs. These decks offer a view across the water to far side of the bay – but if you want to reach it, you’ll need re-trace your steps back around the region.
When investigated, these western lowlands reveal they are actually a tongue of land sitting between two inlets cutting their way into the landscape from the north, the far side of this second body of water marked by the highland plateau. Small places of business sit on the bank of the water (one of which is home to the rental kiosk for payments), while at the end of the road stands a large barn. This forms Vita’s texture store, a wooden board walk winding around the side of it to lead to a houseboat at the water’s edge – again, whether this is to be offered for rent or not wasn’t clear at the time of our visit.
For those who do like their touches of Halloween, the region does offer one or two; pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns can be found here and there, the largest two of which stand guard over the entrance of what might at first appear to be a misty-wrapped graveyard. However, these two lanterns are hardly likely to cause anyone any fright, their demented grins awash with humour.
Another board walk winds through the mist beyond the two lanterns, but aside from a single, static Gothic vampress, there are no graves here. Instead, the path leads the way to an old ruin, now a witch’s hideaway with a warning outside. Inside, however, barring the oversized spider’s webs, it offers a cosy retreat.
Throughout the region are lots of little details – chickens and geese helping to give a sense of presence to the farm, squirrels going after nuts, foxes awaiting discovery -, while a figure at the local gas station adds a further sense of life to the setting. For those who fancy tarrying a while, a small barn close to the store offers a cosy place for doing so.
All told, a delightful place to visit and explore – and for those who need them – to possibly obtain a new selection of landscaping textures.
- Solus (rated: Moderate)