The bird-watcher — Hey, you. You're being watched. Just there. Just now. Through the tall trees, from behind the brushy palm fronds, you are being watched. Look: A narrow neck creeps carefully up, a wing flicks and folds away, a soft splash reveals only where something used to be. It's a funny thing about nature. We like to believe we're watching it, but it's really the other way around. Of course, not every spy is shy. Some are showboaters. This little blue heron was happy to bob along the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary boardwalk, keeping a teasing lead on interested visitors. The heron nosed through his feathers like he had lost something important there, reached out his wings as if describing a huge fish, hopped on one leg, then on the other — standard silly, sketchy bird fare. Finally, as the sun was slinking out from behind afternoon clouds — perfect conditions for a photo — the little bird stood still for a half-second. And then it flew away. Nature. We like to believe we've got it under control, but it's really only humoring us. Published March 6, 2006

Photo by ERIK KELLAR, Daily News

The bird-watcher — Hey, you. You're being watched. Just there. Just now. Through the tall trees, from behind the brushy palm fronds, you are being watched. Look: A narrow neck creeps carefully up, a wing flicks and folds away, a soft splash reveals only where something used to be. It's a funny thing about nature. We like to believe we're watching it, but it's really the other way around. Of course, not every spy is shy. Some are showboaters. This little blue heron was happy to bob along the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary boardwalk, keeping a teasing lead on interested visitors. The heron nosed through his feathers like he had lost something important there, reached out his wings as if describing a huge fish, hopped on one leg, then on the other — standard silly, sketchy bird fare. Finally, as the sun was slinking out from behind afternoon clouds — perfect conditions for a photo — the little bird stood still for a half-second. And then it flew away. Nature. We like to believe we've got it under control, but it's really only humoring us. Published March 6, 2006

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