Dappled stone


Apple blossom

Sunlight is filtering through the leaves and flower buds of my apple tree onto my stone as I work.  We’re caught in a hypnotizing play of mottled light and dancing soft shadow.

Shadows on stone from apple blossom

I’m spellbound by the shifting shapes spotting the stone, mingling, pattern-forming and wish I could carve quickly enough to capture their outlines.  I’m frantic with my pencil drawing directly on the stone.  The dapple fades, cloud returning a stone surface with sketches for chiseling later.

Dappling on stone


Dappled light on stone


I’m rather taken by the history and word origin of dappled




early 15c. (implied in past participle adjective dappled), perhaps from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse depill “spot,” Norwegian dape “puddle.” Perhaps a back-formation from, or merger with, Middle English adjective dapple-grey “apple-grey” (late 14c.), based on resemblance to the markings on an apple (cf. Old Norse apalgrar “dapple-grey”), or, as it was used of grey horses with round blotches, perhaps via resemblance to apples themselves.


Working in dappled light


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