Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Blog Challenge About Blogging?

This is probably the cleanest image that
popped up when I searched my computer
with just the term blog.
How self-referential! A blog challenge about blogging. Or maybe it is introspection. Skipping last week's challenge from Strawberry Singh I felt I really had to jump into her "My Blogging Journey Challenge" er .. challenge .. and try to do a good job with this one. Of course, you'll be the judge.

Meme instructions: Copy and paste the following questions and answers to your post, delete my answers and input your own. Don’t forget to leave a link to your post in the comments so others can come by and read your answers as well!

Which electronic devices do you use to blog with?
I have an Apple iMac 27" (Late 2009) desktop computer for my blogging. Sometimes I use my iPad  Air but the Google Blogger app isn't really that good.

Do you have a mission statement for your blog, if so, what is it?
The subtitle on my blog is about as close to a mission statement as it gets, I suppose. Sometime a while back I changed it to "Real Me. Digital Life. Virtual Spaces," one of a series in a similar vein. For a long time it referenced Second Life but this more generic form lets me espouse many subjects. Not that justification is needed. It's my blog. But it does help to focus me.

How do you feel about blogs that use their platforms to spread negativity?
There are blogs that do that? Ah .. Fox News. Right. I've heard of them.

Are you a grammar junkie? Do you thoroughly check your blog for errors before posting and/or do you judge other people’s posts if they contain errors?
I prefer the term Word Nerd, thank you. As often as I proof read my posts before hitting the orange Publish button I frequently find errors on subsequent reads. My conscience twinges when I "fix" an older post, but as I'm not really a journalist that is probably a moot issue. If an error is egregious or fixing it changes the nature of the post, I'll note the changes and tack on [Update] to the title. So it's obvious I'm not perfect and that tells me I don't have the right to be "Judge Judy and Executioner" (source). Fellow word nerds should check out A Way With Words, a blog and podcast.

If you could switch blogs with another blogger who would it be?
Cripes. I did that once, switching with Torley Linden for a big blog swap challenge a few years ago. and it was fun, but I don't think I could do justice to other blogs.  See here info on the swap.

Has your blog/blogging style evolved over the year(s)? How?
If my style has evolved then I don't see it. Probably I'm too close to notice anything.

What is the most extraordinary thing that has happened to you because of blogging?
Sticking with Second Life blogging (I have non-SL blogs) ... That time I was chosen to for the blog swap I mentioned was kinda cool. And I was a guest blogger for the Lindens one Halloween (see here).  Now and then I get a wee thrill when someone thinks I'm a fashion blogger and sends free clothes to me. That usually doesn't pan out as I'm brutally honest (read: not flattering).

When it comes to Second Life blogs, there are different styles: Fashion bloggers, Lifestyle & Travel bloggers, Informative bloggers, and more. Which style do you prefer and where do you feel your blog fits in?
The Poultry Report (named after the radio news farm reports I grew up hearing) is a mishmash of styles. Once in a while I'll toss in posts on fashion ("What's in My Closet?"), lots on travel (often as my itinerant pixy character Zyx and her road trips), helpful (I hope) posts about how to do things, and quite a few rants. Real Life often pops up especially when I feel one of those rants.

What has blogging taught you?
Blogging has taught me that I'm basically lazy. Really. Consider that I'd rather clean your kitchen than my own. My pastor when I was in high school figured out that if he set baskets of laundry next to me without saying a word I'd fold them nicely unless it was my own laundry. Most days I'll think of some great (IMHO) blog ideas and write them in my head, but they don't hit the computer. Thank goodness for these challenges.

Share your top 3 tips for new bloggers.
Just do it.
Have fun.
Don't be afraid of mistakes learning opportunities.

Topless Tuesday on the Runway!

When I blogged about wearing a tuxedo last December (see here) the compliments poured in ... at least four or five, seriously. I was overwhelmed. So I went back to the runway today and shed the shirt and jacket for Topless Tuesday.

Check out how others in Second Life commemorate the day on Flickr's Topless Tuesday in SL group.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Zyx on Topless Tuesday

Since she was born in November 2010 my adult pixy character Zyx Resident has worn the same three skins from SinSkins so her look, admittedly, was becoming dated. Unlike her little sister Zyx Flux I really wanted to stay away from a human skin and stay with her blue-ness. After searching long and hard I finally found a nice one from Plastik. A pair of SLink hands and SLink feet later, she's all set. Zyx has shared the Topless Tuesday spotlight before (see here) but her new skin merits a solo picture.

Look for more Topless Tuesday in SL pix on Flickr here!

Having Fun With Pixelmator

Having fun with Pixelmator, an image editor for OSX that I picked up on sale the other day.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bay City 6th Anniversary Festivities Announced!

From a press release:

BAY CITY, SL (21 April, 2014) - Created by Linden Lab® in May of 2008 and the first of their "Linden Department of Public Works" projects, Bay City has become one of the most popular mainland communities. In honor of the sixth anniversary, Bay City's Residents welcome everyone to join their annual parade and live music event.

Anniversary celebrants will gather at noon SLT/PDT on Sunday, the 18th of May, with a parade lineup at the bandshell in Bay City - Harwich (SLurl). The parade will make its way down Route 66 beginning at 12:30 p.m. SLT/PDT, concluding at the Bay City Fairgrounds in the North Channel region (SLurl).

A live concert will kick off at 1:30 p.m. SLT/PDT at the Bay City Fairgrounds, featuring a trio of live acts and including GoSpeed Racer of KONA Stream providing music leading into the event.

All Residents of the Second Life grid are encouraged to participate. Celebration goods are available at the Bay City Community Center, in the Daley Bay region, for those who wish to be a part of the parade, and ample viewing area is provided. The music event is also open to all who desire to attend. 

Bay City is a mainland community, developed by Linden Lab™ and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in 2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life™ and provide a venue for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialize and network. It is now the largest Bay city group, and home to most Residents of Bay City.

For more information, contact: Marianne McCann (marianne.mccann@gmail.com)

# # #

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Second Life's 11th Birthday Celebration!

Second Life's 11th Birthday bash has been announced and volunteers are needed for this massive, community-run party celebrating Our World. Head to the Participate page of the official Web site to toss your hat in the ring. I've been involved in one capacity or another with each since SL5B and I can honestly say that the volunteers have the most fun.

Apply now for an exhibition space, to be a performer on one of the stages (either a DJ or live event), present something in an auditorium, or work behind the scenes with the management staff. Look around the page for options you can use to stay in touch with the staff for updates as the big event nears.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Side-by-Side Boobs

Today as I was trying on a tasty latex outfit that my wife bought for me, boobs were on my mind. When aren't they, really? In Real Life I wake up every morning with the weight of my two cats on my chest and twice that if they are actually on me at the time.  Then in Second Life, each and every shirt/dress decision has to involve which of my breast choices looks best. Take the latex in question as an example:

From Left-to-Right: System breasts (slider at 58); bigger System breasts (slider at 80); Lola's Tangos Mirage breasts; and Lola's Tangos breasts. Outfit: Liquid Mind ZG-0256
As often as not, Primplants (as I call them) are a trade-off with some clothes – quality of shape and size at the cost of the top's texture being oddly distorted. In some instances such as this one from Liquid Mind, the fit has to be near perfect for the edges to line up (this is greatly affected by your avatar's pose at any given moment) and the lighting has to be just right, ideally with Advanced Lighting in effect. The latter caveat is frustrating because even if you can use it, others might not be able to so they see the odd differences between the texture on the prims and the System layer clothes. Of course, you see yourself from behind anyway so it is rather pointless for you in most cases.

Then there's the translucent bits. Look very close at the image on the far right and you'll see where the prims meet the body inside the translucent latex area. It's the spotty area. Even in perfect lighting this can be obvious when an alpha layer is involved.

On the whole, I like the bigger System breasts, second from the left, with this outfit. The cleavage enhancer of the UnBra skin helps with the illusion that the clothes are pushing my girls together and compressing them to the confined space. This option also avoids much of the unpleasantness of the translucent portion fighting with the skin underneath (See that line under the breasts? Hint to makers: Provide an implants option top where the texture from the system shirt is erased from that area.)

So I saved the version I like but I kept copies of the Primplants in case the need arises. I wear so little latex (despite owning so much) that I don't know when that might be, but "With great cleavage comes great responsibility," (Jamie "The Rack" McJack quote) so I like to be prepared.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Flat Ebbe Linden Meme

Last July, Strawberry Singh proposed a "Flat Rod Visits ..." meme where in bloggers would take a "cardboard cutout" of then Linden Lab CEO Rodvik Linden around to see the sights in Second Life. I rather enjoyed my time with Rod (see here). And I've gotten over the fact that Rod still owes me a bear because I gave I'm my bear and he wore it in public. With a new CEO, Ebbe Linden, comes a new chance at showing Our World to him and getting his bear (I've met him and offered my services in teaching him how to make a classic Linden Bear). Now Strawberry has given bloggers a chance to take take Flat Ebbe out for a spin with a new challenge.

Meme instructions: Pick up a copy of Flat Ebbe Linden from my marketplace store for free and take him to one of your favorite places on the grid. Also, share at least three things that you’d like to tell Ebbe. Please remember to leave a link to your post in the comments and share your Flat Ebbe picture in the Blog memes flickr group.

There are more places in Second Life that I'd like to recommend that the Real Ebbe Linden visit than I can fit on this blog, but I took the 2D "Monoculous Rift" version to the Garden Mole's greenhouse in Dokkaebi (SLurl). Readers may remember that this blog's pixy correspondent Zyx Flux visits there often and most recently posted about it last February (see here). I thought of this location first because one item I'd have to bring up with Ebbe is the quality work, dedication, and sense of whimsey that the Linden Department of Public Works brings to Our World. Numerous roadside builds like this greenhouse bring some extra joy to Second Life. The LDPW keeps giving these little gifts to the Residents yet how often do most of us really notice?

Many other items I'd mention (and have talked to him about) are already being addressed, particularly the new Resident experience and the selection of default avatars. Having Ebbe visit Bay City, Linden support for the arts, and the return of Lindens to The Grid socially have all been brought up and mostly implemented. Looks like there isn't much else to cover.

I would like to throw my support behind the numerous calls to improve community communications. The official blog is a joke. Public office hours for important staffers are nonexistent. The JIRA is open again but I firmly believe that they will still be ignored like in days gone by. We've seen some improvements in this area but let's keep up the changes.

Perhaps the biggest item that I would like to point out is Second Life's reputation. Outside a core community, SL is often seen as a porn-filled, low-quality joke. Advertising SL as just beaches and nightclubs is appealing to the lowest common denominator. Look at the pictures on MySL and Flickr to find a vibrant community of serious users – artists, creators, social crusaders, and more – use Our World as important parts of their Real Life. Promote that and you'll see Second Life flourish.

Topless Tuesday Weather

After a day at 80ºF we are back to typical Southern Maine Spring weather – rainy and cold. Really, I didn't like the heat so I'm not complaining, but I did like the sunny skies. So for today's Topless Tuesday picture I had to find a nice beach and dive into an ocean that isn't 45ºF. Here I am diving off the dock at Dreamer's Creations (SLurl) much to the chagrin of the brown pelican trying to rest.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bay City Arboretum of Rather Atypical Vegetation

Bay City Arboretum of Rather Atypical Vegetation in Bay City – Dennis.
Chief Gardner Zyx Flux is pictured at the street-side door.
The Bay City Arboretum of Rather Atypical Vegetation (SLurl) is now open, according to Chief Gardener Zyx Flux. "Some lilies I ordered haven't arrived and I still need to label the exhibits, but frankly I can't lock the door so we might as well open now," she said. "I wouldn't touch the plants too much, though. Nothing very dangerous here right now, but the selection will rotate."

When asked about the frequent appearance of mole holes about the property Miss Flux declined to give details but said "filling them in is almost constant work. If you see one, don't try to climb into it as you don't know where you might wind up. And don't feed any moles you see."

Operating hours for the Arboretum are eleven, three, seven, and nine. All other times are in minutes and seconds. Parking and admission is free. There are no restroom facilities.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Social Conventions in Virtual Worlds

More often than not I turn off the tag over my head in Second Life though doing so leads to issues when I rez something at home without noticing I have the wrong active land group set and the item is returned shortly thereafter. Still, the convenience of being able to see others without my name and other information blocking their face is worth the trouble. Sometimes I turn off the ability to see other people's tags, too, particularly in crowded rooms. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think that might reduce lag just a bit while making for a better view.

Doing that also lets me pretend I don't know the name of everyone around me unless I recognize them. How often do you stroll along a crowded location in Real Life and know at a glance that the people on the closest bench are names Billy, Susie, Frodo27, and Lickalottapuss? While their clothing might be a clue, there are no tags over their heads informing you that they belong to the First Reformed Church of Atheistic Voles. Second Life is another story. And here it is ...

A beach I frequent rarely has any visitor that I know more than superficially. Usually I swim, lie on the beach, or ride a surfboard. But I can easily recognize those I've met by the name tags so I can tell when someone new arrives. If I say "hello" first I don't use names, though, as I pretend I don't know them despite seeing their tags. I wait until someone else greets them by name before I use their name.

I could go further and just run without any name tags, but in Our World it is so easy to change one's appearance – subtly with different hair or dramatically by changing species – so it could be hard to recognize a friend. This is something I've been considering this while thinking about social conventions. Phillip Rosedale of virtual world developer High Fidelity (and a founder of Second Life) has similar thoughts and discusses them in the following video at about the 1:13:00 mark.

The TL;DR gist is that no one sees tags over your head in Real Life so you probably won't in Rosedale's next virtual world. No People Near Me radar in Real Life, no Friend List to tell you who is awake at any given moment nor any covert mapping of a person's location. Right. I have two words for you.

Google Glass.

Surely "smart eyewear" has or will have a facial recognition app with quick commands for easily gleaning common social media sites for basic information about someone you see near you . Just like right-clicking an avatar reading someone Profile or inspecting their clothing in Second Life

For that matter, there is Find My Friends on your iOS device. At this moment I can see that my brother's iOS device (hopefully with him at the time) is in a grocery store. What about those apps that use Bluetooth or Wifi to alert you when someone with the same app and similar interests is within a certain proximity to you? Need I mention Blendr, Findhrr, and Grindr?

Virtual worlds are no longer just an entertaining repast. Rather, they have the potential to become  the bleeding edge of a social revolution (or at least a social gravity field) and the time is now to define social conventions. I don't use Facebook or Twitter. My Plurk account is all but dead. The blog I keep to focus on Real Life is public but I doubt anyone in Second Life would likely find it (or find it interesting. I use it mostly to just write, kinda like that crazy lady you see buried in blank-page journals and notebooks at a table in your shopping mall's food court every single day.). There is no Second Life-like Profile page for my Real Life.

In the video above, Mr Rosedale talks about this "blankness" applying to virtual worlds where users would blend both lives and release only information that we wish to give. If Facebook and the like are any example, though, I foresee people over-sharing in the new medium. Maybe that is the new social norm?

From the grocery store list app's Web site I see my brother has finished shopping and there is a carrot cake on the way home with him. I'll text him before he gets near Dairy Queen because I'd rather have a Confetti Cake Bizzard Waffle Cone. Ponder all those implications while go open the garage door and make room in the fridge.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Differences are Skin Deep

While patiently waiting in my Lo-Lag avatar to enter a full region I decided I didn't really like her looks. Her shape/face changes whenever my default "Basic Me" shape/face changes and frankly what I have now doesn't suit her skin. With just system clothes (an old freebie T-shirt from Truth and some cutoff denims from Coco) and the Tuty's "Lou" Chocolate skin that has a thin layer of hair on the head, system eyes (actually the attractive Ibaneze "Almondine" set) and only a de-scripted collar for jewelry (nope ... no Magellan Detector Ring and no wedding ring as they have scripts) my Lo-Lag avatar is a model of efficiency. Recent changes to my face when I re-skinned with sets from unBra and The Skinnery made the Tuty's skin look odd.

SL wasn't letting me change eyes and for continuity I simply tinted the hair from blonde.
I started with the ears since normally I keep them super tiny to help out the elf ear effect on my usual avatar then I went for the eyes. Mostly tweaks on the under-eye area and the corners, but they were slightly embiggened, too. The "Sasha" skin from The Skinnery looks better with a bit more baggage under the eyes, pun or not.

Then the nose. It's not easy to pick your nose. The controls don't seem very fine to me and, of course, the skin shading makes a world of difference. I look at my nose from the front and it looks fine but then it looks odd from the side. If I fix one look it breaks the other and a broken nose is no fun at all.

Without touching cheeks, jowls, chin, forehead, or any of the other myriad of options I started on the mouth. On my current shape the ends are very pointy regardless of skin, partly because I have the corners point up a skosh so I'm always smiling a bit. It doesn't really work most of the time. The adjusted lips might be a bit too full on my usual skin but I think they look great on the Tuty's skin. Simply changing the mouth has had a profound effect on the rest of my lower face. It seems fuller and longer, two settings I didn't touch.  Who knows how the mouth will look on the other eight or so other skins I often wear.

I might know, later, when I log in again after today's maintenance that made this whole process rather arduous. Stupid me, I'll probably wind up with shapes/faces for each of my regular skins, further inflating my Inventory count and confusing me when I get dressed. Of course, I should consult my wife. She has to look at me more than I do, after all, so that's only fair.

What do you think? I'd love to read your comments. Just tack them on below.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Topless Sunrise

Technically, it's a sunset. I was at a lovely nude beach for women where I like to sit on a surfboard and face the sunset. Since I was there at 7:30 AM SLT, though, I messed with the Windlight settings to make West look like East with just the right sun size and colors. I hope you enjoy. I've posted it to the Topless Tuesday in SL Flickr group. Some really great pictures there this week ... and then there's mine.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Advice for Second Life Newbies

Strawberry Singh's Monday meme challenge this week (see here) is near and dear to me because it is something I think about often: What advice would you give a new Resident in Second Life? I meet quite a few newbies during the week and I can't resist giving out advice. Clearly I'm practicing for the time when I'm a little old lady that just can't keep her opinions to herself.

From Noob to Boat Owner in 7 Short Years
Meme Instructions: List 5 pieces of advice you would give to a newcomer that has just joined Second Life. Don’t forget to leave a link to your post or advice in the comments.

"Remember That There is a Person Behind Every Avatar and Like in Real Life They Are Often a Total Ass." But how do you know? Talk to people. Read Profiles. Don't just assume something about a person because of they way they present themselves in-world. Sure, an avatar's appearance was probably chosen as a representation of some aspect of that person, but go deeper. If they remain enigmatic or the Real Life portion of their Profile is blank/cryptic, your job may be harder but not impossible.

With that in mind, my second nugget of wisdom is "Keep an Open Mind About 'Who' You Are." At least for a while. I've known quite a few people that after investing a fair sum of Space Bux on a realistic human avatar went on to discover their inner Furry or even changed gender. Second Life is akin to a second chance to be someone that is hard for you to be in Real Life. I started in Our World as part of a therapist-guided program to learn socialization skills and to overcome some phobias. I've met post-op Transgender women who have used Second Life to practice the outward manifestations of their inner selves and thus have a smoother transition in Real Life.

This process could lead to an Inventory disaster – things all over the place, hundreds (or even thousands) of items named Object, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria! "Start Organizing your Inventory Now." I wrote about this in an earlier meme (see here) but let's go over some of it again.

  • Create special folders inside the Objects folder (Vehicles, Pets, Furniture - Home, Furniture - Outdoor, etc.)
  • Created special folders inside your Clothing folder (Swimwear, Tops, Accessories, Trampwear, etc.)
  • I have folders for Animations, Avatars, Body Parts, and the like plus folders for activities and places (all my Bay City stuff is in Place: Bay City with subfolders as needed).
  • Create a folder called Objects: Storage for the next step.
  • Make a cube (or other shape) and call it Storage:. Take it into your Inventory then put it inside your Objects: Storage folder. Drag it to the ground and fill it with up to 100 items you want to backup in case of disaster (for example, when you unpack a new outfit, take the original box back into your Inventory and then put it in a Storage: box and add a description after the colon). If you don't have the original box or the items weren't delivered to you as such. put them in a cube (or other shape) called Box: (then add a description after the colon) and put that in the Storage: cube.
  • Organize your Landmarks, into descriptive folders, as well, but don't save too many. I tend to not save a Landmark unless I visit a place often or I want to tell there about it.
  • Get into the habit and stick with it ... you play the way you practice, athletes always say.

You'll need a place to do this so find a good sandbox (try Search or check this list) and take the time to "Explore the The Library Folder of Your Inventory" while you are there. It is loaded with a bunch of crap but there are quite a few gems, too, especially in the Clothing folder. With what you find here and the masses of free items easily found in-world you don't really need money to live in Second Life. At least not right away. You'll get cravings to buy stuff and buy more stuff and find more freebies. Aren't you glad you started organizing your Inventory right away?

More about money. "Really, You Don't Need Money or Land to Live in Second Life." I've always had friends that let me park my avatar on their land to log out or even let me treat their home as my own when I did not have a place of my own. My wife in SL hasn't owned land in ... ever? I've always given her a home (when I had land) or we've lived with my brother. Or you can use any of the fabulous public properties around Second Life as "yours" if you want (like the Coastal Waterways). Belong to a group? You can probably use one of their locations as a home.

Groups are also handy for finding free things, too. Just use Search to find "Lucky" groups or ones with "Freebie" in the name. Ask people, too. Not for money. That is very tacky. Ask if someone knows where you can get nice items for free.

Much of this advice is all related, if you think about it ... explore people, your surroundings, and your Inventory. That's what Second Life is all about, isn't it? Exploring. If I had to give just one nugget of advice it would be "Explore Everything!"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sharing Second Life Pictures

Linden Lab announced today the availability of a Project Viewer with an enhanced snapshot feature that allows users to share pictures directly from Second Life to the Flickr photo service and the Twitter microblog service. The shared images can be formatted much like snapshots shared to disk or to MySecondLife.com (MySL), but with some differences.

All three third party service share panes. Yes, you can do it.

  • All pictures shared on Facebook, Flickr, or Twitter can use a new filters option. Examples of these can be found on my Flickr stream  in the SL Filter Tests set. Filters cannot be applied to other snapshots.
  • If a picture is shared via one of these third party services, the Share pane closes and must be re-opened for each additional shared image. This is not the case with images shared to MySL saved to your Inventory or computer's hard drive.
  • Available image formats will vary. All options allow the Current Window to be shared, but only [640 x 480]. [1024 x 768], and [800 x 600] size images can be shared to Flickr or Twitter. Facebook image size options include [1200 x 630], too.
  • The Upload to Flickr pane will remember tags from previous photos and your filter choice plus the image size, but not the image title or description. Not being a Facebook member nor a Tweeter, I don't know if these share panes behave the same way or not.

As a Flickr user I certainly welcome this new option but I'm sorely tempted to try using the JIRA to recommend some changes, particularly about keeping the Upload to Flickr pane open between shots. And I love the idea of user-created filters (see here) that can be shared with other users. I'll never be smart enough to learn the programming necessary to do it unless the process to "hardwire" the code in is changed to something akin to Windlight adjustments, but it is exciting nonetheless.

Now, can Instagram or Vine be far away? What about Foursquare check-ins?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Topless Tuesday with a Friend

It has been pointed out to me that not everyone uses Flickr or can see the Second Life microblog, so here's my Topless Tuesday pic for the day, a brief interlude with a friend on a beach.

We really are just friends so don't assume anything. Okay, go ahead if you have to.

The Spring Meme

If I had a choice, I would be able to have a lovely Spring landscape at all times and I don't mean in Second Life. Though I don't mind the cold nearly as much as I mind heat, Winter is still depressing. Fall is my second favorite season thanks to the colors and the cooler evenings. Summer I can do without almost entirely. I'm definitely a Spring girl so I was pleased to see Strawberry Singh's meme challenge this week (see here).  My first thought for today's pic was Forest Floor (SLurl) a lovely shop with the same name and one of the most natural forest edge landscapes in all Second Life. This is one of those spots that when I just want to relax or have some lovely scenery too look at on the compute when I'm occupied near by but not actively engaged in Second Life, I park my avatar here (usually one of my pixies) and look in once in a while.

Meme Instructions: Share a spring-themed picture and/or answer the following questions about the season. Don’t forget to leave a link to your post in the comments and share your picture in the Blog Memes Flickr Group.

What is the spring season like where you live?

I live in Southern Maine, USA so our Spring is often variable, but for the most part I don't see green leaves until mid- to late-April. One flowering tree in our back yard is trying to bud right now, but frequent frosts have been deterring it. Here on April First I still have snow on the ground with a 50ºF air temperature.

Our front yard trees are always the last to show leaves come Spring and the first to shed them come Autumn. The ubiquitous evergreens (Maine is "The Pine Tree State") make my state beautiful all year long, however, so when I need to see greenery I don't have to go very far at all.

What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think of spring?
Growing things. I'm far too lazy to do any gardening in Real Life, but I do so love new plants and budding trees. The bright green of Spring is so cheerful compared to the dark greens of Summer. When I can I try to get lost in some wooded area or an actual forest to experience the season. When I lived in Pennsylvania my brother and I would usually drive up to Maine to see family every May and I'd insist that we go through central New York State and southern Vermont just for the forests.

Which spring-themed sim in Second Life is your favorite at the moment?
Forest Floor probably isn't specifically Spring-themed (I can see elements of late Summer and early Fall) nor do I know of any region intentionally dedicated to the season. Try the Calas Galadhon regions (SLurl; Web) as they change seasonally. My home in Nangrim, the Lydia Rose Memorial Park (SLurl) is always Spring-like and I'm often lounging in the pond or in the hot tub there.

Here's to Spring! A time of renewal, color, and growing things.