Sunday, October 20, 2013

Nature in Second Life

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.

John Muir

           Recently, I went to the state of Maine in the United States for a brief vacation with Significant Other.  (Apparently, visiting yet another virtual world didn’t cut it.  And, contrary to popular opinion, I do know how to enjoy myself in Real Life (RL).)
          Our plans were to explore the coast and woods, enjoy lobster and other seafood, and get away from the day to day pressures of reality for a bit.  I also planned to do some writing and post my blog as usual.
          Well, as luck would have it, my usually reliable WiFi was not so reliable.  When I eventually made it into Second Life (SL), the experience was pretty bad.  I was able to briefly chat with a few friends but that was about it before I bailed.  Even emails and FaceBook were difficult. 
          So, I abandoned my efforts to stay connected inworld and focused on RL for the time away.  (Significant Other worried about my going through the DT’s.  But, have no fear, I survived.) 
          Being immersed in RL for an extended period, especially in the wilds of Maine, got me thinking about nature.  Its beauty, its mysteries, and how our senses interact with it.  I also thought about time and its effects on nature.  (That’s Mother Nature and not naturism for those familiar with my other writings.)  I was in Maine in the autumn and could see the foliage change as the trees and other plant life went through their annual explosion of color which this region is known for as summer recedes prior to winter’s arrival.  (I hope I’m not getting too heavy for anyone out there.)
          In RL, we can see, smell, and hear the changes in the wild as autumn unfolds.  Leaves change color, the air is different, the scent of early fires fills the air, and migrating birds fill the skies with their cries.  Feeling the fallen brittle leaves permits us to experience the sense of touch as trees shed their summer loads as just one example.  Some might argue that we may even taste the seasonal change as fruits and vegetables ripen and are ready for the harvest.  I’m singling out autumn but every season in RL has its own impacts on the senses. 
          In SL, we can experience nature too.  Although, as I’ve blogged earlier, experiencing all the senses inworld is not practical with current technology.  But, the visual and auditory are possible.  Several sims have taken nature to a high art form inworld. 
          The first I’d like to highlight is Natural Wilderness at Loch Haven.  The sim is a simple bucolic setting of woods, fields, water falls, mountains, and coastal scenes.  Leaves blow in the wind and mist arises from falling water.  It’s a quiet place to spend time either by oneself or with someone close. 
          Another and a favorite of mine is Lupes Magic Forest.  One caution here is that strict nudity is required.  If you’re up to it then the beautiful woods with their meandering pathways and hidden spots are well worth the time spent undressing. 
          Finally, last but not least, my old friend, Perryn Peterson, and his partner, Mike Olbracht, always do a phenomenal job with their nature settings in their Hunts.  I’ve included a couple of pictures of their handiwork their most recent Renaissance Faire.  Since their efforts don’t last much longer than their accompanying events, I encourage anyone wishing to see beautiful representations of nature inworld to visit their events when they’re open. 
          Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t recommend nature in SL over nature in RL.  (Significant Other wanted me to be very clear on this point.)  We should never retreat from RL into SL.  However, when RL is unavailable to us then we can enjoy SL as we would a fine picture in a museum or a National Geographic documentary on television. 
          Go walkabout inworld and enjoy these beautiful representations of RL nature.  Also, please remember that these are just but three of many beautiful, natural sims in SL.  I encourage you to go and find others for yourselves!
          I’ve included a few pictures from the three sims I’ve mentioned.  Don’t take my word for it, go and see these for yourselves.    
As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 
I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.  

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