Around the Block: Meadow
The hills are alive with the sound of donkeys!
Calling all of Minecraft’s mountaineers! Wow, there sure are a lot of you. Tell me: when you’re exploring the peaks of the Overworld, which sub-biome do you feel at most at home in?
Is it the grove, filled with spruce trees? Is it the snowy slopes, skiing your way between the igloos? Is it the stony peaks, with an incredible view from horizon to horizon? Or is it our biome of the week, this week: the beautiful, flower-filled meadow?
Meadows were added to Minecraft in the very first snapshot of the second part of the Caves & Cliffs update, alongside many of the other new mountain biomes. They were tweaked a little during the development process, primarily altering what grows there, but their current version is very similar to how they were originally implemented.
Go for a stroll in the meadows and you’ll find lots to like. There are sheep, donkeys, and rabbits to keep you company, as well as all kinds of different flowers. Here and there you’ll spot a tree, and in its branches, you’ll likely find a colony of bees making the most of the plentiful nectar on offer.
Dig down below the grass and you’ll mostly find stone. But meadows can also prove fruitful if you’re hunting for emeralds – either in the ground in the form of ore, or in pockets of the occasional villagers who live in this high-altitude environment Beware, though – Pillagers are just as likely to be encountered in these remote parts, and at night you’ll face the usual array of spiders, zombies, skeletons, creepers, and more.
In the real world, a meadow is the name given to any open and predominantly grassy area. They naturally occur in some places, where the climate or soil make it hard for trees to grow, but more commonly you’ll find meadows where humans have chopped down forests to grow hay and other animal food, or to keep livestock.
Meadows are vital to the lives of many animals – they’re a place for nesting, gathering food, pollinating, finding a mate, and even sheltering from bad weather if the grass is tall enough. Those grasses also store a lot of carbon in their roots, making meadows important when it comes to climate change.
Minecraft’s meadows are mostly inspired by alpine meadows, where trees struggle to grow due to the cold. During the summer, these places bloom with flowers and grass, but in the winter they sleep beneath the snow. Luckily Minecraft doesn’t have seasons, so feel free to frolic through the game’s summer-y meadows even during the darkest days of winter.
- Duncan Geere