365 days of SL, day 70:
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I went and explored for a bit again last night before the rest of the gang came online — and as a result, you get a whole bunch of screenshots again instead of a single one. But then, I don't think there'll be any complaints, right? :)
The above may look familiar, BTW — the piano and the treehouse are the same as the ones seen on day 17. This time, however, I disregarded the piano and explored the rest of the area a bit.
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This is an overview showing a few of the treehouse complexes in this sim. I debated not including this shot, as I don't think it's that good, but it's the only one that shows the platform structure in the middle of the two trees in the background, and I later went up there, so here you go.
The original plan was not so much to check out the treehouses but to visit a couple of zen rock gardens in the area, BTW; we'd seen those on day 17, but they're already gone now (and I'm not sure I took screenshots of them at all back then). A pity really, but c'est la vie.
Instead, there is an Egyptian pyramid/temple there now; quite interesting, and it did have an Anubis sarcophagus for sleeping in, complete with a heavy stone lid. It wasn't RLV-enabled, but I still liked it, obviously. :)
But then, that pyramid was someone's private home, so I explored the treehouses instead.
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The trees all consisted of three levels (or decks); the lower two were residential, but the top one was an open viewing platform. Here, I'm standing on one of these; there's not a lot to do up there, but you can enjoy the view, at least.
Personally, I would've put up some deck chairs or so up here for people to relax — see below for more on that, too. But maybe the creators' prim budget didn't allow for that; or maybe they just didn't think of it.
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This is one of the rentable units, already seen in the shots above but viewed from the inside of one of the tree's residential decks now.
Each of these decks had four rentable units (the same ones you can see in the above shots), priced at ~200 L$/week for 100 prims or 250 L$/week for 125. The majority were taken, but a few were available, too. (I didn't go inside any of these, since they, too, are private homes.)
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Heading back down, I came across a conveniently-placed picnic blanket and decided it was time for a snack. :)
I really like spots like that, too; it's always nice to be able to relax somewhere with friends, no matter whether it's a campfire, a picnic table or blanket, a bench, a set of swings, a couple of beach towels or something else entirely. It's spots like these that invite people to stop and spend time, and I really appreciate that.
And after I continued, I came across two mystic-looking sites, too.
There generally is hardly any spirituality/religion present in SL, and I like it that way. What little you can find is usually places like these; sites that could be taken out of a fantasy novel and that are, one presumes, just designed this way because they're pretty and because they form a nice background, not because of any actual significance being attached to them. The megalith circle seen in the background on day 44 is another example: although neo-druids may consider sites like Stonehenge to be sacred, in the context of SL, it's just a pretty or interesting construction, nothing more.
The only exception to this are a few christian churches, but even these are few and far between, and the last time I saw one was years ago. Perhaps the Lindens are themselves keeping the public space in SL free of religion on purpose; I can see why, and I agree with it. Spirituality is a private matter, and public displays on SL could only lead to strife.
In any case, the above two sites looked nice, and did indeed seem like something you might find in a fantasy novel.
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And here I am on the structure connecting the two trees that I mentioned far up above now. :) I'm just standing at the edge of the top deck of one of the trees; there's a bridge suspended there that leads to another platform (with two connected rentable homes), and so on until you finally arrive at the top deck of the far tree.
I liked the orange/yellow lamps, too; coupled with the lush green of the vegetation and the blue skies, these created a very nice effect.
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And here's a random screenshot taken a bit further down. All the platforms in the middle had different stuff on them; also, I didn't expect it, but at least one of the units up here was free to be rented. If I didn't already have a nice stateroom at Black Gazza, and if I wanted to spend money on rentals, I'd definitely have gotten it; the whole sim was a very nice place (although it was a frame-rate killer, too, alas).
What you can't really see here is that there were models of various solar system bodies floating next to the platforms, too; I'm not sure what was up with those. Presumably they were just for decoration, but they seemed a little unusual given the rest of the surroundings (although I'll grant the treehouses with their residential nodules had a certain "space station" feel to them).
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And finally, I'm at the far end; I know this is similar to the screenshot above, but I just liked the colors too much to not post this.
Also, I think these trees are a good example of how good-looking, semi-realistic trees are very much possible in SL. They're definitely nicer than the multi-plane trees from day 67 or the L-system trees from day 24; the downside is that they use many more prims, so they're more suited if you want a low number of larger trees, rather than a forest of small ones.
Location: Serenity Woods