Monday’s Blog Challenge

Lately there has been some talk on plurk about how a lot of us bloggers have been guilty about neglecting our blogs in favor of plurk. So, Alicia Chenaux decided to give us another blogging challange. I haven’t gotten to participate in many of these, because they often fall during my work week when I simply don’t have the time to blog. But since I don’t work on Mondays, I am happy to write up my own blog post. Especially given the topic.

Here is the topic Alicia posted for us:

** Second Life is a huge place, but we all have our favorite place where we seem to visit often just to look it, to hang out, to take friends, or just be alone and think. Where is your place, how did you find it, and what keeps you going back? Go there and take a picture! And no, it cannot be your own home! **

I love this topic! I didn’t have to think twice about where my favorite place in SL is, so when I read the topic, I headed straight here..

Lost Gardens of Apollo

When I first came in SL, I used to complain that I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I used to hang out at the clubs all the time because I didn’t know where to explore, or how to find the interesting places to see. One of my first friends, Chugabug Goodnight, gave me a huge list of landmarks on a notecard, and it took me a few weeks to get through them all. I’ve forgotten about most of the places on that notecard, except for one place that really left me awestruck.. Not only was it beautiful, but it inspired me in many ways. The most significant being that this is where my passion for SL art and photography was born.

I wandered around the sim for hours, amazed at the beauty of it. It seemed like everywhere I looked, something breathtaking caught my eye. At the center of the Gardens stands a large statue of an angel trying to take flight, with a demon holding onto his ankle, and trying to pull him back down into a pit below. A tai chi area is set up near the statue, and the music streaming here is very ethereal and mellow. Just beyond the tai chi area I noticed a group of some beautiful flowers.. they were unlike anything I had ever seen.. the flowers seemed to shimmer and glow, and were emitting butterflies. I zoomed my camera in close, and took the photo that ended up becoming my very first artwork- not just in SL, but in my life.

It was because of Lost Gardens of Apollo that I downloaded Gimp and started teaching myself how to use it. All of my earliest artwork is from here..

My blog is titled “Through My Eyes” because of the night I discovered Lost Gardens of Apollo, and started doing the photography. I wanted to be able to capture the beauty of what people are able to create in Second Life. This sim is the best representation of that, that I’ve ever seen. The header picture of my blog is a cropped version of this larger one.

I used to come to Lost Gardens quite often, in my earlier days on SL. I would sometimes come here and just spend hours wandering around. Always, discovering things from a different perspective, everytime I moved the camera.

Ironically, the thing that brought my days of artwork and exploration at Lost Gardens to an end was when I downloaded Windlight.. this is the one and only instance I know of that a sim (in my opinion) was destroyed by windlight. It looks completely different, now.. it just doesn’t ‘work’ for me, anymore. One of my favorite things about the sim was the red moon, that you can see in a couple of the pictures. Everything looked kind of red-hued and muted to me in the old viewer, and I’ve never been able to get that look back again.. even if I set my graphics to low. I guess if I tweaked with the sliders enough, I might find a preset I like. But it kind of killed my enthusiasm for the place. Everything looks too sharp and focused now.. I don’t get the same kind of dreamy feel as I used to, when I come here. I haven’t been back here in awhile, but I’m glad Alicia posted this topic. I think I’ll talk a walk around.. see if anything has changed. Maybe try to fix a pre-set that’ll get me coming back again. But for now- I’ll leave you with the last piece I ever did here.


Beauty is anywhere you look for it.


~ by Nika Dreamscape on September 22, 2008.

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