Title:     "Alaska Aurora Reindeer"

© Alaska Artist Dianne Roberson

      Northern Lights | Alaska                   

Stock #  DA 180

Digital Art       |         Color Print on glossy paper

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

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

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


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 insects.

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
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.

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