Casan fon grèin
Photograph of sunbeams streaming below clouds over Tiree.
In the Statistical Account of 1845, Rev Neil MacLean observed that the weather on Tiree ‘is frequently so variable as to be almost proverbial, and baffle the most sagacious prognosis.’ Before reliable forecasting, the livelihoods and lives of many crofters and fishermen were dependant on their knowledge of weather lore.
Traditional knowledge about the weather is a mixture of superstition and acute observations of the sky and the natural world. People on Tiree used to judge the weather by the movement of birds, changes on the lochs and in the colours in the sky, and by looking at other islands.
One of the signs of windy weather to come is the appearance of sunbeams streaming beneath the clouds known locally as ‘casan fon grèin’, literally ‘legs under the sun’.
Colour photograph of `casan fon grein`.
‘Casan fon grèin’, sunbeams streaming below the clouds which, according to local weather lore, is a sign of windy weather to come.