Expedition 11 - 31st October 1998
Blain and Breag (and Scardoish)

This expedition was unusual in that we ran short of helpers and two explorers didn't link up with the others until the end. The members on the full expedition were Charlene, Claire, David, Ellen MacG, Ewen, Karen, Robbie, Robert and Robin. (The 'second team' were Allan, Kathryn and Sheila.)

We first looked at the hay byre at Blain where the local people used to hold dancing classes, and Angus told us there was once a Tinker wedding there. Then everyone examined the hart's tongue ferns growing under the Blain Bridge and the lichen growing on the north side of a larch nearby while moss grew on the south side of the oaks. After this the expedition moved slowly up the valley past High Blain and its lazy beds to the reservoirs stocked with trout at the top.

We stopped to rest in the small plantation before continuing up the muddy path to the cairn at the top, to which everyone added a stone.
On the other side we all could see the village of Breag and we walked down to it and examined about six of the houses, including one with triangular windows which the members thought was a church.

The second team, which started out over an hour later, had turned left at the reservoirs and gone down to Scardoish. On the way they had seen the hydro dam and had a good view of a lizard, unusual for so late in the year.

Finally everyone went to Toad Hall for soup, and dry clothes for some.

The Pictures
After such a long expedition, and with many members having to get home to prepare for guising in the evening, there was not a lot of time for drawing. However, the results were still very impressive and showed a wide variety of approaches.

Robbie was possibly the most ambitious, using the coloured pens to recreate the stream flowing over the rocks with the hillside on either side covered with heather and dying bracken. David John produced a very simplified view of the dam with the water behind it and the moss-covered spillway in the centre. Robert drew a picture of the old village with the smiling sun overhead, but he drew one of the cottages thatched as it would have been in the old days. The 'church', with its distinctive triangular windows, featured in many pictures. Claire and Charlene showed it in multiple pictures which also included the cairn and other views - Charlene, who got very wet, showed the rain showers. Karen restricted herself to a single broken building and the cairn, while Ellen's picture showed a variety of incidents, including her own fall into the mud on the centre left.

One member, who got wetter than the rest, is depicted as having his own private rain storm over him!
Allan and Kathryn saw rather different items on their walk, the lizard featured prominently, and Kathryn showed the dam and the few rain showers.

John Dye

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