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Winter solstice 2015

Winter solstice 2015

It was going to be a mild winter this year in Bay City, with no white Christmas expected this week. After all, having a snow blanket in a static place that actually has no need to change is not a must. Most of SL is like the tropics: one season all year round. But then I asked myself, what’s the point of being in a world that doesn’t want to change? So change the plot I did, in time for the second solstice of the year (just a few hours away). And then I had some fun taking a few pictures in a dense fog intended to hide what lies behind. Don’t expect a full scan of the build, as it wasn’t so attractive from a distance. If I were to give each picture a name, it would go something like this… (Click the pictures for larger versions).

Winter 2015
Utility poles, Douglas firs and some wintry trees
Winter 2015
Douglas fir in the foreground; wintry trees and Aspen
Winter 2015
A little bit of Douglas, the Scots and some other trunks
Winter 2015
It’s not Halloween in winter
Winter 2015
Don’t know… but this one reminds me of a train (go figure)
Winter 2015
Perspective on the utility poles with wintry trees of all sorts
Winter 2015
Stereo view it’s not
Winter 2015
The arrival (whatever)
Winter 2015
That little streak in the upper right corner…
Winter 2015
Shrubbery in the snow

Well… I needed to place something between the pictures to break the monotony. Products showcased: Studio Skye, Botanical, Happy Mood, and {anc} (left that one for last on purpose, since it’s from the December 2015 Arcade round).

Dandelions and firs

Land lust in autumn

There are two seasons in the year when not having a large plot stresses me: autumn and spring. That’s when I used to be more active, landscaping and gardening. Autumn brings the exquisiteness of ocher shades, while spring, you know, brings the colorful flowers. Spreading all that greenness over a considerable stretch of land is quite inspiring (for me at least). Trying to do that in a small parcel is, for the most part, discouraging, especially in autumn, when the trees take center stage. Nevertheless I decided to go the practical way, choosing mainland for my living –for the last two years– over private estates, and sticking to double prim land to take advantage of the extra land capacity. While spring has been “acceptable,” autumn hasn’t been so that much, meh.

Studio Skye birch grove set

In the first picture (above), a menagerie of autumnal trees from different creators, with a partial view of Studio Skye’s new Birch grove set, to the left. There rest of the wood dwellers has been showcased in this blog before.

Bicycle and tree

The Cube Republic has also been busy creating new trees and shrubs lately, with some outstanding new products available in two SL events. Above, an old bike has been partially “swallowed” by the growing trunk of a seasonal-enable beech tree, currently available at Shiny Shabby. The event will run until November 10th, so click HERE to teleport to buy it.

Dandelion

Another of Cube’s Shiny Shabby releases is this nice dandelion set, which is probably the most beautiful and realistic dandelion plant in the SL market as of now. It comes in single (pictured above) and clumps of three, with or without a charming particle effect that disperses parachuting seeds a short distance from the head. The effect is nicely done, so I assure you won’t upset your neighbors if you let it always on (yes, that means you can also turn it off).

Douglas firs

Lastly, I wasn’t able to take a really good shot of Cube’s latest product, the Douglas Fir set, available at the 6º Republic event (click HERE to teleport), due to the trees’ huge size and my parcel’s restrictive proportions. Yet, to their favor I have to say of all the mesh trees I’ve come across, I think these firs are the only ones my crappy video card is able to render wonderfully. At full size, they average 22-31 LI, but will shrink to much less  (10-12 LI in the picture) without losing any detail. They’re also season enabled (green and winter), so once planted, you can keep your Douglas fir grove up all year round if you wish.

Now I’m wondering if I should go back to renting a quarter of a homestead sim again… (sobs).

Winter

Winter in a box

When you’re the owner of an entire sim on a private estate or independently, there is a series of regional settings you can control that are not available to simple parcel owners or anyone living in Linden land. One of them lets you customize the appearance of the ground texture, so it can fit your landscaping needs.

When your kingdom is très petit, even smaller than the tiny world of the Little Prince, winter is probably the most difficult season to cope with the rest of the neighborhood, especially if you’re the only one cheerfully expecting the first snowfall –unless you live in the frozen confines of old Sansara, the ever whitish Snowlands, where the problem is exactly the reverse: how to fit in during the summer. You can, of course, cover your land with some prims and sprinkle them with snow and ice textures, use any of the available pre-made landscaping kits (with dozens of options to choose from), or even get your hands on a chic tool such as JVTEK’s LandMap to cover the ground with a precise layer you can paint as desired. But remember: the rest of the sim may remain as green as ever, and your plot will stand out as the shiniest rarity in the ‘hood.

For the last two winters –this one included– I’ve been living in different parts of mainland. To avoid any seasonal confrontation with my tropical acquaintances, I have rezzed a little skybox above the clouds to build my arctic “miniscape”. It’s not exactly as building at ground level, but there are so many options today that the scenery can even be lively in a limited vault like this.

 

My permafrost dwelling rests in a small 1696 sq.m. parcel, and it consists of:

  • Turnip – 40 x 40 Skydome, with winter textures.
  • Studio Skye – Enchanted woods, Snow Formations, and Silver birch.
  • 3D Trees – some accessories from a winter trees pack.
  • Botanical – Touch 2 Change Split Rail Fence
  • Happy Mood – Snowy road (sans rocks)
  • Dysfunctional Designs – several snowmen
  • Dust Bunny – Hunter’s Retreat (rare gacha item from the Old Fashioned Winter set at Nº21 event)
  • Tia – Love Doves Birdbath (rare gacha item from last year’s Winter is Coming set; machine is still available in store)
  • LISP – Victorian Street Lamp (white icy with snow version)

Except for 3D Trees, all other products are mesh, and I still have more than 200 prims left, woot! Snow in the pics is is a combo of a Happy Mood product and a texture+script from yours truly.