In September 2021 I visited LANA, the rich and in places quirky Homestead region designed by Valarie (Zalindah) – see Lana’s seasons in Second Life. Since then, the changing of the year has brought with it a changing in the region’s looks, although much of the core theme – that of letting go, freeing oneself to experience anew – remains very much prevalent, as does the balance between land and water, together with some of the individual motifs visitors might have encountered with that previous iteration.
However, where back in September LANA offer a setting perhaps rooted more within natural elements- countryside, water, a small town, etc., in its new form the region embraces something far more whimsical in nature, offering multiple vignettes that will catch the eye as one explores, set within a landscape that is very different in styling although it does retain a combination of two seasonal styles.
The first of these seasonal elements is encountered at the landing point, tucked into the south-east corner of the region. Taking the form of a single-roomed building with hard, concrete walls, and with and enclosed garden where visitors arrive, the landing point sits caught in the depths of winter and blanketed in deep snow. The single room of the building is comfortably furnished, two of its walls adorned by what I assume to be images of past iterations of LANA / previous builds by Valerie, while a fire blazes in the hearth, encouraging people to step inside and escape the snow.
At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be a way out of the walled garden or the house to get to the rest of the region. Snow is piled to dither of the structure, and in hanging around the landing point, I did notice several people seemingly confused, wandering in and out of the house, and finally resorting to climbing up the snow drift to one side of it to reach the roof (with one then promptly falling into the winter scene at the far end of the building that is open to the sky but glassed-off from the rest of the room!).
However, the route to the rest of the region isn’t that hard to spot – there is, after all a large white arrow pointing to it from the garden, together with a hopscotch game. It runs over the snow partially piled between the left side of the house and the wall that encloses the garden to reach a road set between bare, arched trees which march away westward through the snow-covered landscape, a large frozen pond beyond one of their arches ranks and cold, open waters to the other.
It is on this pond and along road that the region’s sense of fantasy starts to be revealed: two huge snow wolves – or perhaps dire wolves? – guard both the ice and – a little more aggressively – the far end of the road. Beyond this second wolf and over a hump of snow-dusted ground sits a second pond where a tall Torii gate – watched over by a third wolf – offers the way forward for explorers. Here the path splits, one arm curling back east, to where more Torri gates climb a slope to reach above the snows and a headland that runs north on the shoulders of rocky slopes that rise from the waters on either side, home to ancient ruins and more for those who take that route.
The second arm of the path, however, continues west over lowlands that gradually open out, the snow on them slowly giving way more and more to the scrubby grasses that refuse to remain under its blanket. Eventually turning north, these lowlands are home to trees on which frost still clings although the general sense is of a place in the throes of late autumn. From a distance this low-lying land appears is if it might be marshy in nature – and indeed, a sliver of water does split it’s northern end into a sliver of an island – but the ground is in fact dry.
Closer to where the snow gives way to the grass of these lowlands, the land also points north to where a second rocky upland sits, a large bay to one side of it, a narrower inlet to the other. The way to it is hard to miss, marked as it is by a combination of the remnants of what must once have been a huge tree and the chinthe-like dragon hovering over it on lazy wing flaps.
Dragons are another presence here that links this LANA with that of the past. Here they come in numerous forms – the chinthe, a water dragon, oriental dragons, and I was particularly enamoured of the peacock dragon curling down to a touch of afternoon tea.
The latter is also one of the elements of whimsy waiting to be found across the region; others include cloud beds floating over a little block of apartments, the oversized plushies scattered throughout the setting. Also to be found throughout the setting are vignettes focused on wildlife and animals – rabbits being a favourite within it – that offer plenty of opportunities for photography.
Retaining much of its oriental lean throughout – notably on the top of the headland running up the east side of the region – whilst offering a setting that is entirely different from its prior incarnation sitting beneath a fitting EEP sky, LANA continues to offer a richness of design and content that makes it a ideal destination for the seasoned Second life traveller ad those looks for places to appreciate.
With thanks to Shawn for the suggestion for a re-visit.
- LANA (rated Moderate)