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Day dawns early on the islands. At 5 AM, it was dazzling bright outside though the sun was not quite up and about. But I was, so I wandered about the island for a constitutional.

Day dawns early on the islands. At 5 AM, it was dazzling bright outside though the sun was not quite up and about. But I was, so I wandered about the island for a constitutional.

The Maldives are coral atolls – islands that encircle a lagoon. The word has its roots in atholu in Dhivehi (the language of the Maldivians). It was first used extensively by the English naturalist Charles Darwin in his published work, The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs.

The Maldives are coral atolls – islands that encircle a lagoon. The word has its roots in atholu in Dhivehi (the language of the Maldivians). It was first used extensively by the English naturalist Charles Darwin in his published work, The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs.

A storm departs after briefly drenching an island. Being oceanic, the Maldives enjoy a humid but pleasant climate year-round

A storm departs after briefly drenching an island. Being oceanic, the Maldives enjoy a humid but pleasant climate year-round

An idyllic sunset at Club Faru, a resort island near Male, capital of the Maldives.

Beauty benefits of Neem

An idyllic sunset at Club Faru, a resort island near Male, capital of the Maldives.

Maldives -  Resort islands are planted with a variety of trees including the national tree, the coconut palm, as well as jackfruit, curry leaf and banyan. Among the commonest trees is the Sea Hibiscus or Beach Hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus), a medium-sized tree with a spreading canopy. Its cup-shaped flowers are orange or lemon-yellow in color.

Maldives - Resort islands are planted with a variety of trees including the national tree, the coconut palm, as well as jackfruit, curry leaf and banyan. Among the commonest trees is the Sea Hibiscus or Beach Hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus), a medium-sized tree with a spreading canopy. Its cup-shaped flowers are orange or lemon-yellow in color.

Your Shot: New Zealand -- National Geographic Travel

Waikawau Bay, New Zealand Photograph by Steve Burling, My Shot This Month in Photo of the Day: Nature and Environment This photo was taken at Waikawau Bay, Coromandel, New Zealand. After a gorgeous.

never-ending swimming pool. Great swimming in a salt water pool!

never-ending swimming pool. Great swimming in a salt water pool!

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