Monday, August 1, 2022

"The Pond" And "The Forgotten"

By Gemma Cleanslate

While doing the Nature Collective Hunt I visited some venues I had never seen before, nature related . One startled me and brought memories of the Greenies home of old. The beauty invited me to return and explore. It is The Pond. Everything there is immense, from the lily pads to the outsized koi below the waters and insects in the sky. rαvєn вαnríσn кrαу (RavenStarr Resident) is owner, designer, builder of The Pond.

It is a marvelous place to hang out with relaxing sites among the lilies. Check out the delicious picnic area or play in the sandbox. There are secret places here so walk around and touch. I went around the outer edges of the Pond and discovered little animals and birds.

Well I say little but they were not. Some were the same size as me. I had a hard time locating the prize there but finally found it. It is a dancing frog so that made me happy. While I was there 7 visitors arrived in different groups to explore. Take some time to go visit and relax on land or under the waters. A bubble on the lily pad will take you down. 

“A magical swamp born from sorrow, lighting the way for explorer's to follow.
A castle in ruin, gardens left to despair. Eyes of lost statues left only to stare.
Whispers of sadness from voices long gone, dancing fairy dust left to sing its last song.”

This is a description of The Forgotten, another place I discovered on my Nature Collective hunt.

I found a dazzling sky and a fantastical swamp to maneuver moving on walkways and tree roots. Float around on a leaf for a while to discover the environment. The foliage and insects are so whimsical.

A fanciful lamp post seems to look at a visitor with laughter in the light. Lionsheart (Elfing Shenanigans) the owner has touched the deep secrets of the past in creating the place.

Mystical creatures inhabit the ruins above the swamp. Dragons fly overhead and an enormous whale , seemingly out of place, floats through the sky and I took a ride on his back. Look for little nooks of relaxing places, some frightening but also inviting. Bring your honey and dance in the gazebo at the edge of the waters.

Everywhere I walked I was aware of the beautiful sky above. The whole region is a delight to the eyes. I will return to poke through those ruins for more adventures.

The Nature Collective has so many members with lovely places to explore and I will be doing that! Join the group and see all the offerings.

Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, July 22, 2022

Mount Campion National Park

By Gemma Cleanslate

Since the Nature Collective had an update to their hud that takes one to a recommended nature place, I went over to the headquarters to pick one up. I forgot to mention that there is a hunt beginning July 18 at the member sites. I think I will do that. I did a little more exploring and wandered onto the Rainwashed Soul on the property. I had stopped by on my first visit but did not peruse what is offered there.

Standing in the rain just listening to the sounds of nature is soothing. I entered the little A frame shelter and discovered that there is directed meditation. I spent some time sitting and entering into the spirit of it and found it more than relaxing. There is a helping notecard there on meditation also. Stop there to delve into it.

After that experience I walked out of the headquarters and found myself on Route 3. I decided to take a car ride on the road and headed east. I did not get far when I found myself at a Smokey Bear sign.

I discovered I was at Mount Campion National Park. I gathered the information offered and read about the park and its caverns. I discovered, ”Mount Campion Caves National Forest is over 150,000 sq meters of beautiful parkland, landscaped to look like a natural mountain park. It has the largest natural caves and caverns. Above ground are miles of scenic trails through natural canyons and forests. There is hiking, horseback riding, camping, and photography. and cabin rentals. Located on the slopes of Mount Campion, the highest mountain in SL on the beautiful Heterocera mainland continent. You can roam for weeks! “ This is one of the members of the Nature Conservatory.

I set off up the road and found a horse rezzer for public use of visitors. One can also use the Segway that is available at the entrance. Instead of rezzing one I brought my own horse out and continued up the trail that continued upwards on the mountain through the forest. Before I ventured too far I stopped at the Nature Center and went in to check it out. Interesting educational displays and projects are going on in the building and outside. I learned that Hiroko Nubalo takes care of the center with help from the mascot.

As I continued on my roaming I found good signage directing one to various sites to visit. The roads and trails are so numerous as I traveled up and up and up. It is amazing. I passed some of the camp sites and cabins off the road and finally reached the Caverns.

That is another site here that will take ages to explore but is well worth it. I spent some time on the rocky pathways in to the caves and found a lovely statue at one point. It would be easy to get lost in there I bet. You are recommended to give information to someone before entering the caverns just in case. The underground extends over three regions.

I took several trips to the forest after my first and I reached the peak when I found myself at a Gazebo way up on top. There are lovely rental homes summit that have wonderful views of the world around the mountain. The map is so helpful showing the rentals, trails and teleport locations. You CAN roam for weeks!!

Another day I went to the other entrance that is off of Route 6 on the other side of the mountain. This entrance is definitely more of a challenge than the one off Route 3.

There are three rangers at Campion, Scott and Maggie North and Hex Shining North Star (hextar Resident) who help out with activities and on the mountain. I met Maggie and the mascot, ?Maddison?Angel?NÔrth (lunaroseus Resident) who is the daughter of Scott and Maggie and also helps out. I will be visiting again. 

Activities taking place at various sites in the park: ballet dancing, belly dancing, several parties during the weeks with 80’s music and more. A lovely spa set into the mountainside offers calm and solace in the sauna there. With the forest all around there is a soothing effect just walking along the trails and waterfalls and rambling brooks abound.

I stopped off at the rental office just to take a peek at what is available. The owner of this magnificent site is Marz (Mar Scarmon) who says it all on her profile, “The forest embraces me, It encloses me and shelters me from harshness, Its soft greens and browns soothe my aches, And I slumber relieved while dreaming of primordial things.”

I was going to ask her about her reason for the park but I did not have to after reading this on her profile. I have not met her yet in my travels. There is no way to do justice to all that one can do or see at this marvelous mountain here. To get to Campion take this ride to the Route 3 entrance. Get all the information from the Squirrel. You will find shortcuts to various sites you might want to visit. I say just walk and discover.

Gemma Cleanslate


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

The Nature Collective

By Gemma Cleanslate

While exploring the installations at the SL19B looking at all the steampunk gears and clocks I came across an oasis of trees and bushes and quiet walks. It was the build of the Nature Collective. I walked the paths and wondered about the creators of this build. I went over to the headquarters of the Collective to learn more about it:

At the HQ, which is very lovely with a nearby waterfall, I learned “The Nature Collective is a Second Life group created with the goal of cultivating a community around sims, spaces and projects which share a common focus on nature. It is our hope to foster a movement to help people engage and reconnect with the wonder and joy of nature, in the virtual world and beyond “. Since I love nature places in sl I joined the group to understand more.

I was directed to a notice about a zoo that is being highlighted and decided to visit. I arrived at the station and went to the entrance to buy my ticket (which is free) and read the rules posted on the wall. I was stunned when I entered the Ariadne Zoo by the size and the extensive work there. Animals are enclosed in their own habitat and separated by fences to protect the visitors and the animals both.
Ana (Anarya Vhargon) is the owner of the Zoo .

Each enclosure has a card about the animal to impart knowledge to the public. It is a short walk from one enclosure to another, but if I read each animal description and information I would be here for a week! The foliage and décor is fitted to each animal species so they are living comfortably as they would in their own habitat.

Not only is the zoo extensive, spread over two regions ,but it also holds a playground for visitors with games and rides to amuse adults and kids. I checked out several and found they are kid friendly too for Zooby Animesh babies but also for Toddledoo mesh child avies.

Camping is available at bungalows and caravans or tents all for free! There is a pool and a playground there too and a small store with lots of donuts and cupcakes. I found another store with more healthy food, veggies , pizza , and Sodas. Nearby there is a boat rezzer and a Swan boat rezzer to ride on the lovely lake or rezz a tube and just loll there enjoying the view. There is so much to do here it is a good thing there is camping. In my stay I only got to see a part of it all.

I stopped into the aquatic building and went downstairs to enjoy the seating and food served there and look out through the windows at the sharks and other fish passing by. I felt quite safe tho a shark looked me in the eye. This is only one nature place on the list offered at the Nature Collective and I intend to visit more when I am able. There is so much to explore here be prepared to stay a while. There is news coming from the Collective soon so stay tuned!

Get to the zoo on this train.

Gemma Cleanslate

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Some SL19B Exhibits

 By Bixyl Shuftan

This year's Second Life Birthday had a lot of exhibits. Some were by familiar names. Others by the less well known.

At SLB Breathtaking (207/65/23) is the Safe Waters Foundation's exhibit.

Residents are invited to "dive into the waters."

And see what lies hidden underneath.

Team Firestorm's Firestorm Gateway had an exhibit at SLB Astonish (189/124/23)

So why have a gateway? Well, without new residents, eventually Second Life will end.

At the end were a number of freebies, intended for new residents.

Tempest Rosca

Moya Patrick at SLB Astonish (240/172/23)


The Burners had an exhibit at SLB Astound (88/204/23)

At one end was the Thunderdome, which hosted some impromtu events. 


Elicio Ember at SLB Astonish (157/149/23)

Bay City's exhibit is at SLB Captivate (152/72/23), "Do you wonder what life in a throughly-modern, mid-century city might be like for a Steamlander? Bay City’s build invites you to explore some lovely vistas of their Mainland community, and learn what Bay City has in store for you!"

So why are those dressed in Steampunk/Victorian asked to leave some items at the door?

It seems in the past there was a "Cold War" between Bay City and Caledon that was mostly in fun ... mostly, "It was all in good fun mind you, with contingents from both sides spying on the other, the occasional moment of naked aggression here and there, and even a failed delivery of boxes containing refrigerated fruit that MAY have exploded across Caledon one night. We remain on good terms with our neighbor, but also vigilant. PS: Honestly, I didn't even know it even WAS a rocket launcher." 

Upstairs was a display of upplaying life in a late-1940s/1950s city would be like in comparison to a Victorian/Steampunk one. The downside of nuclear power never came around until after the Age of Diesel was over.

Next to Bay City was the Caledon exhibit, or rather, the Caledon Catgirl Brigade's Exhibit, at SLB Captivate (154/98/23).

 The exhibit's story finds the Caledon Catgirl Brigade lost in time and space. When the "Robokitty-Mini" rolled out of its construction berth to be guided to its new home, little did the crew know how far they would be traveling. They find themselves above the alien landscape of Pyrespark, a volcanically active planet inhabited by a society of mechanical beings--clanks, automata, robots, etc.

In this interactive story, the player follows clues to see who could have pulled the ship through time and space, and talk to the planet's inhabitants to see where they could be.

The Confederation of Democratic Simulator's exhibit is at SLB Amaze (164/63/23).

There's a giant music and jewelry box, and information about the community.

"Time In The Past by Van Loopen & Oema"

DeniseUnicorn Toonie of the Sunweaver community has a "Crystal Steampunk" exhibit at SLB Enchant (152/187/24)

And there's the Newser's exhibit at SLB Imagination (187/52/23). 

 Like other Newser SLB exhibits, it has a fedora hat somewhere. 

A Steampunk "heavy lift helicopter," the build was made by Silvia Ametza, with the help of NC Summer, with AmieeLou Destiny doing scripting. Some of the controls looked a bit "Dieselpunk,"

A telescope for those always on the lookout for a story.

Next to the Newser build was one made in the same style by Kimble Coles, at SLB Imagination (154/51/23).

A windmill over a power plant, it looked like there were steam engines to power things when the wind wasn't blowing.

Kimble had help from Sylvia, NC Summer, and AmieeLou Destiny, so the similar style.

The exhibits will remain up until July 5. July 6 is when the takedown begins, and the grounds will be closed to most. Some will be taken down right away. Others will remain up until the last minute for those with access to photograph or otherwise enjoy one more time.

Bixyl Shuftan