Saturday 23 December 2023




Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The first time I saw reindeer I was so surprised at the size of them. I had expected them to be much larger, probably because of childhood years imagining them pulling a sleigh through the cold midnight skies. They range from 85 cms (2' 8") for a female to 150 cms (4' 9")for a male at the shoulder.

As we approach Christmas Eve, the traditional time for spotting flying reindeer, I looked more closely at these lovely creatures. Wild herds once roamed freely across Scotland until the 13th century but were hunted to extinction.

There is a free-ranging reindeer herd of around 150 animals in the Cairngorms National Park. The deer were introduced to Scotland in 1954 by a Swedish Sami reindeer herder, Mikel Utsi.

With their built-in snowshoes, which are effective on snow, but less so on ice, these beautiful animals have eyes that adjust to the harsh light reflected from snow. Reindeer are the only deer in which females can grow antlers and the shape and style of the antlers varies in different subspecies.

They may not have red noses but they do have many blood vessels in their noses which ensure that their brains are constantly supplied with warm blood to keep them active.

The following short video clip explains a little more about their lives.


  1. With all those blood vessels, when Rudoplph's nose shone bright, he probably just had a cold! I also imagined reindeer being larger, more like the Canadian moose in size perhaps.

  2. The males are about the height I imagined but the females are so much smaller. The females might be quite cute to have around.

  3. Aren't they lovely? I too have always pictured reindeer as much larger. We have herds of Roosevelt elk in our area and they are quite statuesque. I do hope your family members who are ill are mending well.

  4. What a lovely post! Like you, I always thought they were pretty big.

  5. Ditto. Is it in the same way as you measure horses so to their 'shoulder' rather than top of their heads?
    Lovely post, thanks.

  6. Thank you all for your comments. I'll get back to replying individually once the dreaded lurgy has passed. Future posts have been scheduled . . . x x x

  7. HaHa! They are are very 'BIG' animal...
    If you don't take the antlers off, you'll
    never get them in the much so,
    that's what we're having for Christmas dinner,
    haunch of venison, and various other game...
    Fish on Boxing Day...Salmon etc..

    Hope you loose the dreaded lurgy soon, you
    don't want that, this time of year...
    All the very best to you and yours...
    • ★ Merry ★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
    •。★ Christmas 。* 。
    ° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
    ˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
    ˚ ˛ •˛• ˚| 田田 |門| ˚And a Happy New Year
    * Joy to all! ♫•*¨* Peace on Earth ♪♫•*¨*
    🎅 🎄 🎅 🎄 🎅 🎄 🎅 🎄 🎅 🎄 🎅

    1. I made myself a snowball,
      As perfect as could be,
      I thought I’d keep it as a pet,
      And let it sleep with me.
      I made it some pyjamas,
      And a pillow for its head,
      Then last night it ran away,
      But first - it wet the bed! :).
      Ho Ho Ho....🎶🔔 Jingle Bells....🔔 🎶

  8. Our local garden centre has reindeer each year, the children love them, they can purchase food to feed the reindeer, it's free to see, so everyone can have a bit of Christmas magic.

  9. That's funny I saw this week the Cairngorms National Park on TV ! Very interesting ! I had never heard of reindeers at Christmas in my childhood ! As in the part of Germany where I lived, there was no father Christmas, there was the Christkind, Baby Jesus, that was him also who brought the gifts to the children. The Coca Cola father Christmas and his reindeers I only knew when I was an adult. Dario child had his father's Italian handmade crib and my mother had the good idea to put a marzipan Jesus in the crib who disappeared each night. It was our dog who ate it when we were sleeping and my mother suspected that it was us !

  10. Just watched a PBS show on Lapland and saw massive herds of reindeer. So impressive to see. Reminds me of seeing Alaskan shows on herds of caribou. Both are so much bigger than my white tail back yard deer.

  11. That was interesting.

    One of our local garden centres have reindeer each year, they are nice to see.

    Happy Christmas Wishes.

    All the best Jan

    PS Visiting from Jo's Through The Keyhole Blog.

  12. I've just realized I've never seen a real life reindeer. I am most disappointed, not just at their size, but their lack of red noses too :-) xxx

  13. I have never seen a reindeer.. and wasn't even certain they still existed. But what a beautiful looking animal it is. Like all its cousins, including antelopes and hinds!

  14. They are beautiful animals and like lots of others, I didn't realise how small reindeer are. Hope you feel better soon.
    Happy Christmas and a speedy recovery x


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