It’s been 18 months since I last wrote about Whimberly, the homestead region held by Staubi Reilig (Engelsstaub) (see: Whimberly’s summer fields in Second Life), which is an interesting break, given it was some fifteen months between that visit and the one before; so maybe I’m getting into a cycle for visits – although given the picturesque nature of Staubi’s designs, more frequent visits should be the order of things.
Anyway, the last time we were there, the region was in the middle of summer. Now autumn has arrived, and with it a delightful new design with plenty of places for people to enjoy the setting.
A visit begins on the south side of the region at a Zen garden that looks north over a broad bay. This may have once been an enclosed lake, but which is now open to the waters beyond the region, which are themselves enclosed by mountains.
From the landing point, which overlooks an over-the water terrace complete with comfortable seats and the opportunity to try raw pumpkin, two arms of land stretch northwards to the west and east, reaching out to encircle the bay, linked at their northern extent by a low wooden bridge.
The westward arm rises along the gentle slope of low cliffs, a meandering path wandering up it, the route marked by a low fence. A forest cabin sits at the highest walkable point of the hills, backed by a narrow ridge of rock that might help keep it in the lee of any westerly winds sweeping down from the high peaks beyond the land and its ring of water.
This cabin, cosily furnished, offers a grand view out over the central bay to the eastern side of the island. Tall Douglas firs mark the path up to the cabin and sit around it as if protecting it, before marching onwards with the path as it winds its way back down to the lowlands and the bridge connecting the west and east sides of the island. A spur to the path points west to where a little fishing hut sits at the water’s edge.
Eastwards from the landing point, a second path curls its way through a copse of great oak trees to a couple more destinations.
The first of these, sitting behind gabled gates and a large terrace and pond (complete with fountain and swan!) is a small but comfortably furnished hall where a Full English breakfast awaits the hungry – or for those who prefer, afternoon tea can be had on the front terrace, warmed by one of the two outdoor fireplaces, the other being to the rear of the hall, overlooking the open waters of the region from a brick paved terrace.
Outside of the hall’s gates, the path meanders onwards through the trees to become a paved route that passes by another seating are and climbs a low hill to where a farmhouse overlooks a broad field of nanohana awaiting harvesting. With geese outside and more comfortable furnishing within, the farmhouse is of a traditional American design, its red wooden walls a perfect match for the region, a deck again sitting over the waters to the rear for those seeking a place to to relax within the setting.
Hooking its way past the the farmhouse, the path rolls down through the the field to pass an old pier where visitors can rez a rowing boat and head out into the bay, before it comes to the northern bridge to offer a complete loop around the island.
Presented in a mix of summer and autumnal colours and rounded out by a rich sound scape, Whimberly remains an attractive, highly photogenic and inviting region that welcomes visitors to come an spend their time.
- Whimberly (rated: Adult)