Protecting a Jewel
Shirtless, framed by brilliant orange maple and red burning-bush leaves, he rides a bike down Hieber Road to his favorite bit of sandy shore.
The summer's lawn-fertilizer-fed algae bloom has mostly dissipated. Motorcraft are few today, so the water ripples lightly in the breeze. The 125 or so cottages that line the shore thin out in the wetlands of the southeast side, where Miller lives. He keeps a rowboat aside tall grass at a modest plank dock.
The private lake looks much as it did when he was a child, though the graceful tall elms are long gone. Scrubby Russian olives and evergreens now cluster in the ever-tighter spaces between houses, most of which have become year-round dwellings. The lake still shimmers like a natural jewel, its water cool, clear, and abundant.