Following a recommendation from Shawn Shakespeare (SkinnyNilla), I opted to spend a little time on the farm. The Blackwood Farm, to be precise, a Homestead region gorgeously presented for public visits / use by Corvus Blackwood.
Sitting under a burnished summer sky, the clouds turned to bronze by a low-hanging Sun, the region presents as a single island into which a channel of water has cut its way, roughly dividing the landscape almost into two. To the west, the land is predominantly low-lying, to the east it is dominated by a raised table of rock marked to the north and south by ribbons of scrubby coastline, the former of which sweeps east and west across the width of the region, curving past a small off-shore isle to the west, the home of a squat lighthouse watching over the channel between the two landmasses.
The western side of the setting is home to the Blackwood Farm. This is a place, we’re informed by a large friendly sign close to the landing point, that is family owned and operated. An unfenced field of corn sits just behind the sign, stretching south along the track leading up to the farm, fir trees and a rocky mound also sitting with it within an oval of rutted tracks.
An aging gateway and fading wall guard the entrance to the inner sanctum of the farm. They face the imposing farmhouse that is flanked by barns to either side, and is fronted by a square fenced field of cattle. It is a peaceful, pastoral setting: chickens wander freely, apples are in the process of being picked from a little copse of trees, a little lemonade stand awaits those in need of refreshment. In fact the setting is so peaceful, deer are happy to graze on the grass within the farm’s grounds.
The farm is overlooked to the west by a uplift of land topped by a windmill that offers one of the many places to sit within the setting, a pair of batterer trailer homes sitting in the shadow of the hill, between it and the span of the south coast. Very rough and ready in their set-up, the two trailers are clearly occupied: a fire pit is burning, a fan is on to cool seats under one of the trailer’s awnings – but both have been left to a little goat to watch over. It forms one of several small vignettes awaiting discovery by visitors, and which bring the entire setting together as a whole.
Over to the east, the primary upland is home to the Apple Fall Old Manufactory, a structure that is so popular among region designers that at times it feels as if it is a required feature within an public region. Its popularity is likely down to both its aged looks and its flexibility of use. Here it has been turned into a charming house, complete with a large patio terrace that stretches from it to a little open-sided potting shed. It is an altogether eye-catching setting – but do please be aware that the house is actually a private residence, as indicated by the localised ban lines that will appear if you stray too close.
The rest of the hilltop is very much open to exploration, as is the rough coastline to the north and below it. Reached by steps cut into the slope of the upland, this coastal area is again a place of little vignettes – a camp site, walks, a dock stretching out over the water and little boats that again add to the richness of the setting.
Those wishing to rez within the region can do so by joining the local group (fee: L$250) – but those who do re asked to clean-up after themselves.
Such is the all-round natural looks to the setting, it really is an ideal location for avatar photography whilst the landscaping is equally photogenic; what is more, the setting works equally well under a range of different environment setting to the default – as I hope can be seen in a couple of the images here.
Whether or not you opt to play with the environment settings or use the shared environment, The Blackwood Farm is visually and – thanks to its sound scape – aurally engaging, richly detailed, and a joy to explore and photograph. This being the case, it should come as no surprise that I’d note it as a recommended visit.
- The Blackwood Farm (Violentia, rated Adult)