Title:     "Alaska Aurora Mountain Peaks and Sheep"

©  Alaska Artist Dianne Roberson

          Northern Lights | Alaska                   

Stock #  DA 132

Medium:          Digital Art
      |         Color Print

Size:  20" wide by 16" High     $ 45.00   on glossy paper                                                                    

Size:  20" wide by 16" High     $ 175.00
    Color Print on stretched canvas                           

Size:  14" wide by 11" High     $ 35.00    on glossy paper                                                                                                                


Male dall sheep, or rams, are distinguished by massive curling horns.  The females, or ewes, have shorter, more slender, slightly curved
horns.  Rams resemble ewes until they are about three years old.  After that, continued horn growth makes them easily recognizable.  Horns
grow steadily during spring, summer and early fall.  In late fall or winter, horn growth slows and eventually ceases.  This is probably a result
of changes in body chemistry during breeding season.  This start-and-stop growth of horns results in a patterns of rings called annuli which
are spaced along the length of the horn.  As rams mature, their horns form a circle when seen from the side.  Ram horns reach half a circle
in about two or three years and a full circle or “curl” in seven to eight years.  Most populations occupy distinct summer and winter ranges,
although some are sedentary.  Migrations are correlated with snow depth, temperature and plant phenology.  Most of the year is spent in the
winter range in wind-swept areas that expose forage.  Adult males can occupy six seasonal home ranges: Pre-rutting, rutting, midwinter,
late winter and spring, salt-lick, and summer.  Females usually have four ranges: Winter, spring, lambing, and summer.  Lambs inherit
home ranges from older individuals and they return annually to these inherited ranges.

The diet of Dall sheep varies from range to range.  During summer, food is abundant and a wide variety of plants are consumed.  Winter diet
is much more limited and consists of primarily dry, frozen grass and sedge stems available when snow is blown off the winter ranges.  
Sheep travel to rocky areas called mineral licks in spring to eat the soil, which contains high levels of sodium and other minerals.  Since
ewes and rams use licks, young rams may leave nursery groups and join other rams at this time.  This random dispersal of young rams
among unrelated ram herds increases genetic diversity of the species.  Many sheep visit mineral licks during spring and often travel many
miles to eat the soil at the base of these unusual soil formations.

Rams establish a dominance hierarchy in the summer, in which rank is determined by horn size.  This ranking is not just for access to
females, since there are no females present in the summer range, but also for social order.  Usually dominance is settled without fighting,
but if there is similar horn size, as when different bands meet, dominance is settled by a fight.  These fights are often thunderous.  The two
males will back off ten or twelve meters and then rush together, colliding headlong. Usually little harm results, and after several bouts the
rams separate.  Mating occurs in late November and early December, with the young, called lambs, born in late May or early June.  As
lambing approaches, ewes seek solitude and protection from predators in the most rugged cliffs available on their spring ranges.  Ewes
bear a single lamb and the ewe-lamb pair remains in the lambing cliff a few days until the lamb is strong enough to travel.

Northern Lights

Also know as the Aurora Borealis, these lights are best viewed in the cold dark winter months in Alaska.   The beautiful blaze of the Northern
or Aurora Borealis, begins when energetic electrically charged particles accelerate along the magnetic field lines into the upper
atmosphere, where they collide with gas atoms, causing the atoms to give off light. The air lights up rather like what happens in a
fluorescent light tube.  The colors reflect gases, the most usual yellow-green color coming from oxygen. Red coloring is also due to oxygen
with a contribution from nitrogen and violet is due to nitrogen. The charged particles originate from the sun, and it is the “weather” conditions
on the sun that decide whether or not we will see the aurora.

Print Information

The website address will not be printed on your print.  This print is treated with an ultra violent protective coating.  It will be rolled and
inserted into a mailing tube.  This print is treated with an ultra violent protective coating.  It will be rolled and inserted into a mailing tube if
ordering a glossy paper print.

Stretched canvas prints will be boxed.   All prints  will be mailed first class by the U.S. Postal Service and insured.
Art World Plus  |  Digital Art Gallery

Phone:  1-404-462-4615
Inside Alaska phone:  1-907-775-4229

Alaskan Art by Alaskan Artist Dianne Roberson
Copyright  2013        ©   Dianne Roberson    All rights reserved.