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Excuse me, could you show us the way?

Excuse me, could you show us the way?
Photo Information
Copyright: Ewa Zaborska (ewa1) (36)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2003-07-31
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Nikon coolpix 995
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-03-24 7:25
Viewed: 3538
Points: 0
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Apparently there are 8 (instead of 4) seasons in Lapland that are related to the migration of the reindeers. In the early spring the ground in the forests is covered with ice, so that the animals can't get the growth from beneath. At that time reindeers gather in herds and, together with the Lapland people, move to the mountains (to the same, calm places where they had their mating in the autumn of the previous year). Shepherd's camps are set there and the animals stay there during the spring that lasts for about one month. In the beginning of the spring summer young reindeers are born. The offsprings are able to follow their mothers just one hour after their birth. Then the reindeers move to the plateaus that are located even higher. Here, after the tiresome months, they can easily devote themselves to their favourite activity, that is eating growth. The animals stay there throughout whole summer. They are grazed half-wildly and the shepherds are bound to brand the calf, which they do in July.
The next season, called the Indian summer starts in August, when the mountain plants become less nutritious and so the reindeers are forced to move to the valleys. At this moment they are rounded-up in great herds (sometimes with the use of helicopters) and sorted according to their owners. Some of the animals are destined to slaughterhouse :-(, the rest is rounded-up to the rutting ground, when the colourful autumn comes. In the late autumn the herds slacken as the animals search for places where there is still something to eat. When the long and gloomy winter comes they stay in the forests or at their borders where they scratch the snow looking for their favourite cup-moss.

This animal was one of a few reindeers we met on our way through Sweden. The reindeers were walking along the roads and didn't pay much attention to the passing by cars, sometimes causing small traffic jams ;).

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