About Me

My photo
Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer had been a physician practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 30 years. Over that time, as a member of the Conservation Commission in his home of Chesterfield New Hampshire, he has used his photography to promote the protection and appreciation of the town's wild lands. In recent years he has been transitioning his focus from medicine to photography, writing and teaching. Jeff enjoys photographing throughout New England, but has concentrated on the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont and has had a long term artistic relationship with Mount Monadnock. He is a featured artist in a number of local galleries and his work is often seen in regional print, web publications and in business installations throughout the country. For years Jeff has published a calendar celebrating the beauty of The New England country-side in all seasons. All of the proceeds from his New England Reflections Calendar have gone to support the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at the Cheshire Medical Center. Jeff has a strong commitment to sharing his excitement about the special beauty of our region and publishes a blog about photography in New England.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Where have You Been ( Part One ) Ireland with a Stent

Morning Rainbnow over Doolin Ireland

Ha'penny Bridge Dublin Ireland
Those few of you who, over the years, have followed my photography blog know that up until late this summer I have slavishly maintained a once weekly schedule of postings.  Including my articles for the New England Photography Guild, that makes over 450 blogs covering all aspects of digital photography, withe a special focus on the Monadnock region and southern Vermont. 

Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland
Then suddenly, I disappeared from view - one or two folks even noticed.  The purpose of this article is to explain why I have taken a prolong hiatus, how I have been, and what I have been doing over the last 3 months.

The story includes some exciting activities and news, as well as one significant bump in the road.  Although all of this provided major distractions from my blogging duties, I must admit that there was also a vast amount of personal laziness.  After years of work I felt I deserved a little vacation, and this turned out to be the perfect time.

The Special Green of Ireland
The story begins in late August, shortly after my last blog article.  Susan and I joined a group of 5 other friends for a 2-week tour of Ireland.  Prior to leaving, I was pressured by the fact that I had to set out my tent for Keene’s annual Art in the Park.  As always, the two-day festival was a great chance to meet friends and show my work, but this year was especially stressful since, two days later, I was on a plane to Ireland.  No time for a blog!

The Emerald Isle
County Galway Ireland

There can be no question that Ireland is overwhelmingly green.  Once out of the cities it is green on green, with fields broken only by the ubiquitous stone walls, and dotted with gatherings of sheep and cows.  Living in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire, I have become accustomed to rolling pastures, but Ireland’s lush green comes in rank on rank of neatly bounded meadows which often climb up precipitous hillsides.

Gregan's West, County Claire

Irish Heather, Wicklow Mt, Ireland

Our trip began with a couple of days exploring Dublin and its surroundings.  Dublin is a walkable city with lovely strolls along the River Liffey, a profusion of restaurants and pubs and, of course, Guinness wherever you look.  Our stay also included a side-trip south to the beautiful Wicklow Mountains, including the Dramatic Glendalough Valley where the ancient monastic settlement of St. Kevin's is located.  Many of the monastery's structures are nearly 1000 years old. 

St Kevin's Monastery, Glendalough

Arch Surf from Dunluce Castle
From Dublin, we all crowded into one Van, which was overly large for the narrow, stone-lined, country roads, but a bit cramped for seven adults.  We called her “The Beast”.  Heading to Northern Ireland, we skipped Belfast and concentrated on the rocky northern coast.  Along the way we toured sheer cliffs, castle ruins and quaint villages.

Rock Island Light, Inishmore Island Ireland
 For much of our trip we followed the Western side of the island along the Atlantic coast.  From Doolin, we cruised to the Aran Islands, which are crisscrossed with a dense maze of stonewalls, and features precipitous cliffs facing out to the North Atlantic.  We were having a great time taking in spectacular scenery with a group of close friends and then my tour was suddenly interrupted

A Green MI
During the evening of the 9th day of the trip, while visiting Killarney, I developed some vague chest discomforts.  I responded in the usual way for a physician, I came up with alternative explanations for the symptoms, stomach acidity, chest wall strain, but the pains persisted.  I finally said to myself, “Ok moron, if a patient reported these complaints you would immediately send them to the hospital”.  We called an ambulance, and when the EKG showed a myocardial infarction, I was off for an exciting ride to Cork University Hospital. 

Blarney Castle Cork Ireland

I received great care and within minutes, my occluded vessel was opened with a stent.   The good news is that I have been doing well.  The bad new is that I missed four days of our trip, but since the airline wouldn’t let me fly until one week after my infarction, I gained back a couple of those days.

I continue to place images from our trip on my web site in the
Ireland Gallery.

Tunnel Green County Claire

Over all, the trip was memorable for a variety of reasons.  I prefer to recall the spectacular scenery, the remarkably friendly Irish people, and the companionship and support of a group of close friends.  Upon returning home, I settled into my program of cardiac rehabilitation. Pacing myself,  I tried to get out for reasonably relaxed tours of the fall foliage, but, as you will see in my next article, my foliage was interrupted by another wonderful event. 

Owen Emerson Bryant

Jeffrey Newcomer