Friday, September 5, 2008

Despite the demise of Virtual Parks & Recreation Services, virtual nature is flourishing

Several months ago and after years of hard work, Master Ranger Higbee Protagonist made the difficult decision to close the Virtual Parks & Recreation Service group because he needed to focus on his Real Life. The news was alarming and many of us - including his dedicated group officers Princess Ivory and Bjorlyn Loon - were fearful for the future of pixelated flora given the ever-booming business of shopping malls and ad farms throughout the grid.

Several discoveries in the past few weeks, however, have allayed my concerns. It seems that new pixelated trees and forests are bursting everywhere, thanks in great measure to the contributions of Kriss Lehmann and his gorgeous Straylight/Botanical (it's hard to find a sim these days that doesn't have a few of his trees), the ever-prolific Julia Hathor and her exquisite fantasy flowers and plants and birds and trees, among many other items (note to self: you really, really need to do a blogpost on Julia and her work!) and, of course, Andrek Lowell and his deep forests, including my own Chakryn Forest.

I shared vroum Short's surreal VeGeTaL PLaNeT with you yesterday, and today I learned about kyota Spitteler's Mermaid Temple and Fairy Forest via Rawnie Lane, who clearly has a penchant for the outdoors. Teleport directly from here.

flowerfield by Rawnie Lane

Giant waterlily by Rawnie Lane

I also take pleasure in visiting explorer and fashion designer Amerie Spitteler's Flickr stream, because I invariably find a new bit of forest or garden there. It was through Amerie that I discovered her Hollow Forest, where I have had an enchanting time snapping pics. Teleport directly from here.

Hollow Forest

I suspect that what has happened here is that the intensive efforts to green the grid by the Virtual Parks & Recreation Service group have begun to pay serious dividends, and for that I'm relieved and grateful.