sunshine spots

It was a nice morning, and I thought it would be a good choice for me to sit in my backyard and read a book. But it’s easy for me to get distracted, and soon I was really interested in a spot of light that was on my chair:

A spot of sunlight on my chair.
Reading outside, I saw this spot of light on my chair.
(For more information about this great book, see:
https://www.hepg.org/hep-home/books/science-in-the-city)

I wondered what made this spot and I turned around to see how sunlight was coming through this tree behind me:

Sunlight coming through the tree's leaves.
Sunlight coming through my tree.

What I think is really amazing is how all of these leaves and the gaps between them are different shapes, but the light coming through makes circles. I used a white notecard to find more of them:

Spots of sunlight.
Round spots of sunlight made by my tree and the sunlight going through it.

You’ve probably seen spots like this before, maybe without even knowing it. (Once you start to see them in a few places, you might have a hard time not seeing them!) Sometimes under a tree we say that there’s “dappled light,” but it doesn’t matter what you call it. There are funny shapes and a kind of light that photographers and artists like, all made by the overlapping circles of light like this.

Can you find circles of light like this in other places? What do you think makes these circles? Why are there so many? Are there other ways to make these sunshine spots? Could these circles be a picture of something else?