Paddling around a Curiosity Lake in Second Life

Curiosity Lake, February 2021

I’ll start out by saying I’m getting to Curiosity Lake, the homestead region designed by SadyCat Littlepaws somewhat late in the day – or rather days, given it will closing on February 28th. I’m not sure how it slipped through my net of landmarks of places to explore, but it did. So to fix matters, I  suggested to Caitlyn we hop over and take a look this past weekend.

It is a place clearly put together with both a love of, and attention to, detail – which might actually be something of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it means there is a lot to see and appreciate and photograph; on the other, it also  means that in some places there is a lot of mesh and texture data the viewer has to grapple with, and this can be reflected in some hiccuping of performance.

Curiosity Lake, February 2021

This is a setting evocative of the changing of the seasons. The two islands that make up the region are cast with autumnal colours, with trees heavy in browns and golds and fading greens, while the hills and peaks of the off-sim surround have their peaks crowded with fir trees frosted white with snow that also lies in drifts and patches on the slopes running down to the water’s edge. It’s a combination that suggests that while the island has yet to feel the first bite of winter, it is eyeing them from across the water, just waiting for the opportunity to throw a white blanket over them.

The islands are fairly low-lying and rugged in places. Three houses sit upon them, two on the larger, which includes the landing point, and a cosy lodge on the smaller. All three homes are fully furnished, and it is clear considerable time and effort has gone into their décor to make each one photogenic and home to a wealth of ideas visitors might find useful when decorating their own places.

Curiosity Lake, February 2021

Both of the houses on the larger island sit reasonably equidistant from the landing point with its gazebo warmed by a wood fire – one of several outdoor sitting points waiting to be found. which house you visit first is up to you, although I’d be tempted to suggest heading north to the imposing bulk of the large stone-built house with its tall chimneys.

As well as allowing you to take in the house, this route will take you past a couple more places open for visitors to sit outdoors in the form of a blanket-strewn rowing boat and a wooden pergola, it will deliver you to stone steps that will take you up to the islands “highlands”.

Curiosity Lake, February 2021

Forming a flat-topped low hill, there are home to a trio of further outdoor spots that are all attractive in their own right, two of them fashioned as little camps set around a couple of old vehicles and the third a tree fort platform. These are all close enough to be within easy walking distance of one another but far enough apart to be nicely separated as individual spots to share times with someone close.

Southwards from the landing point, steps also lead up to a low thrust of land and a wood-and-stone cottage where the garage has imaginatively re-purposed into a lounge, giving far more space for an expansive kitchen in the house proper, and comfortable bedroom at the back, exiting onto the rear deck.

Curiosity Lake, February 2021

More steps run down from the eastward brow on which the house sits and point the way to the footbridge that connects to the circular dome of the smaller island and its chalet-style lodge, the verandah of which is set out ready to entertain with a filling meal warmed by the outdoor fireplace.

It is around the houses that we found performance issues came to the fore – as noted, there is a lot of mesh and texture use around them, and this did make itself known during initial loading. However, it’s worth bearing with such niggles if encountered as the region is extraordinarily photogenic and naturally invite exploration.

Curiosity Lake, February 2021

However, if you’re going to do pay a visit, make sure it is in the next few days, because the region is due to close on February 28th, again as noted earlier.

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