Title:   "Alaska Aurora Reindeer Circles "

© Alaska Artist Dianne Roberson

       Northern Lights | Alaska Glacier                  

Stock #  DA 177

 Digital Art       |         Color Print

Size:  20" wide by 16" High     $ 45.00                 

Size:  14" wide by 11" High     $ 35.00                


The reindeer is essentially an inhabitant of snowy countries, feeding on lichens or moss, mushrooms, grass, and willow
sprouts, which grow even on the poorest soils, and furnishes the natives with food and clothing and many little things which
contribute to their comfort. Its commercial possibilities may be judged from the following extracts from official documents
relating to Norway and Sweden, 'the northern portions of which, known as Lapland, are climatically similar to the northern
portions of Alaska.

The shedding of velvet (the covering on the antlers) in late August and early September by large bulls marks the approach of
the rutting (breeding) season and the start of fall migration.  Unlike other members of the deer family, bull caribou do not
control a harem of cows.  Instead, they control a space around themselves to prevent other bulls from breeding with females
in their space. The largest bulls shed their antlers in late October, with smaller bulls and non-pregnant cows shedding theirs
in April.  Pregnant females usually retain their antlers until calves are born in late May or early June.  Most adult cows are
pregnant every year and give birth to one calf.  After calving, caribou collect in large “post-calving aggregations” to avoid
predators, such a bears and wolves, and escape mosquitoes and other insects.  These large groups of caribou stay together
in high mountains and along seacoasts where wind and cool temperature protect them from predators, summer heat and

There are approximately 900,000 wild caribou, distributed into 32 herds or populations, in Alaska.  Caribou are somewhat
cyclic in number, but the timing of declines and increases, and the size to which herds grow, is not very predictable.  Although
overhunting caused some herds to remain low in the past, today, varying weather patterns (climate), population density,
predation by wolves and grizzly bears, and disease outbreaks determine whether most herds increase or decrease.

Reindeer and Caribou look different, but they probably are the same species. Caribou are large, wild, elk-like animals which
can be found above the tree-line in arctic North America and Greenland. Because they can live on lichens in the winter they are
very well adapted for the harsh arctic tundra where they migrate great distances each year. Caribou cows and bulls both grow
distinctive antlers and bull antlers can reach 4 feet in width! A Caribou calf can run within 90 minutes of its birth. It must do this
to keep up with the migrating herds.

Reindeer are slightly smaller and were domesticated in northern Eurasia about 2000 years ago.  Today, they are herded by
many Arctic peoples in Europe and Asia including the Sami in Scandinavia and the Nenets, Chukchi and others in Russia.
These  peoples depend on the reindeer for almost everything in their economy including food, clothing and shelter. Some
Nenets even keep reindeer for pets!  Reindeer were introduced into Alaska and Canada last century, but most attempts failed.  
Native peoples in these countries still prefer to hunt caribou rather than herd reindeer.

Reindeer and caribou have unique hairs which trap air providing them with excellent insulation. These hairs also help keep
them buoyant in the water. They are very strong swimmers and can move across wide rushing rivers and even the frozen ice of
the Arctic Ocean.

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 Lights, 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 if ordering a glossy paper print, if ordering stretched canvas this print will be boxed.   
The print  will be mailed first class by the U.S. Postal Service and insured.
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Phone:  1-404-462-4615
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Alaskan Art by Alaskan Artist Dianne Roberson
Copyright  2013        ©   Dianne Roberson    All rights reserved.