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Take a moment to enjoy the beauty of our state during the holiday break

Dec 17, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer

Most of us know, but we often take it for granted, that our state, the great state of Wyoming, is among the most beautiful places in the world. The diversity of our open spaces, mountains, plains and high deserts coupled with the unpredictability of our weather create a natural beauty that, when attempts are made, can't be translated adequately into words. Neither can we craft a full appreciation of our state's beauty in quick, life-paced glances.

Our sunrises and sunsets repeat to the natural metronome of our planet's rhythm, and, if you are like me, we miss most of them with our heads buried in front of some computer screen, or when our tunnel vision is focused on events that probably aren't that important anyway.

Our Wyoming star-lit nights are often ignored for the LED's of our televisions.

I know I don't appreciate the beauty of where I live enough.

That is why I have deep admiration for the work of a young and unbelievably talented photographer from Casper who has stitched together 20,000 out of 125,000 photographs he captured, each taken over a 14-month period, and all taken within the rectangular borders of our state, to create what I believe is the most spectacular video of Wyoming ever made.

Because we want to share his work with you, we've set up a special page at our website dailyranger.com. If you haven't seen Wyoming Wildscapes I or II, set aside a few quiet minutes,

go to our homepage, click on Wyoming Wildscapes, then sit back and watch the splendor.

We have been blessed.

We're sharing the work of photographer Nicolaus Wegner with his permission.

The music Wegner used in his video of still photographs is also captivating, created by Ghost Kollective - three guys, in three different parts of the world, who create music.

Wegner was born in Douglas and raised in Casper and loves the mountains. He worked 14 months from first shutter click to the final edit of Wyoming Wildscapes II. He spent around 150 days out driving and walked over 100 miles backpacking, shooting, and exploring Wyoming.

He drove nearly 20,000 miles, mostly during the storm chasing season from June through August.

Wegner gives huge credit to his "super tough" wife for carrying a five pound battery around for him. He adds that she loves Wyoming's wilderness and mountains and has probably seen more of the state than 99 percent of the people who have lived here their entire lives.

She was born and raised in Thailand, where the two met while he was working overseas.

Wegner's creativity seems like a wonderful Christmas gift, and, perhaps, it's also a New Year's challenge for all of us to more fully explore and appreciate the place we call home.

What's up next for Wegner?

He says his next project may have something to do with National Parks in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, and Idaho's National Preserve.

"We'll see where inspiration takes me," Wegner says, adding, "There are a ton of places I haven't covered in Wyoming that I'd like to, and (I) will definitely continue taking time lapses and photos here. I just doubt there will be a Wyoming Wildscapes III."

I'm thankful for versions I and II.

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Sports Week will return Jan. 7 as we focus our holiday energy on a newly designed, fully responsive, multi-media dailyranger.com. You'll love the improvement.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Go Big Red!

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