In the Right Place

Editor’s Note: Brooklin author/photographer Richard J. Leighton creates the popular “In the Right Place” posts online about life and nature in Maine. He will share a post the second Thursday of each month in The Ellsworth American.

Richard Leighton

The former Washington, D.C., trial lawyer and his architect wife Barbara summered in Brooklin for more than 25 years before making it their permanent home in 2015. To see more of his work, visit


In the Right Place

The bald eagle was chosen in 1782 as the emblem of the United States because of the animal’s majestic appearance, strength and long life. However, this bird always has had its critics. Even Benjamin Franklin famously complained that it was “a rank coward” of “bad moral character.”

Nonetheless, we suspect that most of the bald eagle’s critics have never carefully watched one soaring with its 7-foot wingspan high above a river, then banking severely, spiraling down fast in smaller and smaller circles, pulling up to skim the water, thrusting its talons straight out at the last moment and plucking its prey with a splashy “thwack.”


             — Richard Leighton

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