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15,000+ Photos of Beautiful Beaches

"As a student on the shore, thinking thoughts not thought before.
I wondered why, yes why, do lakes appeal to me?
What is there magic lure? 
Oh yes, it's magic to be sure.
But there's more to lakes than eyes can really see.
So.. give me lakes, give me lakes, give me lakes!"
— Kenton M. Stewart

I'm so very grateful for summer. It joins the list of counted blessings each morning for what it brings to life.  Its brilliant sun brightens the psyche's dark places.  Pretty gardens dense with vivid colours and textures enliven the senses.  It is a performance graced with fragrance, music and beauty, with flora and fauna sharing centre stage.

Having burst from our winter cocoons, in summer we are joyful butterflies flitting from spot to spot, activity to activity. We cycle, we walk, we hike. We garden, we mow. We paint and repair. We laugh and love. We travel and escape.

The latter is often to the beach. Most people in this corner of the world will find themselves there at some point during the season.

I've been fortunate my whole life to live just a short jaunt from lake country.  On a glowing Friday evening, hubby and I can cruise our way to one port within a half hour for some fish and chips or just to stroll beside the waters.

Should we desire a longer stay, we travel just a little farther up the shoreline to a place where memories were formed.  For almost two decades my hubby and I, along with our four kids, spent entire summers in a tourist town, living just a few blocks off the beach. These were halcyon times,  with afternoons on the sand, evenings around campfires and the distant sound of surf our soothing night-time lullaby.  As golden as summers can be, these shine above all others.

Would they have been quite the same without the proximity to water? Probably. Summer finds a way of making the magic happen. But that there was the bonus prop of a lake  setting the scene for this particular act in our lives was absolute bliss.  Their power is beauty, their mystery, like their centre, unfathomable. They cool us, refresh us. They're the perfect setting for twilight.  And I never see one now that I'm not taken back to idyllic days.

With that in mind then, here's a wonderful collection of beach images from iPHOTOS.com

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