Last updated at 15:24 BST, Thursday, 26 April 2012

Calendar 2012: Colours: January

The photo

Snowy owl, Japan

Where and When :
at Kyoto Municipal Zoo, early April, 2011

The reason why I think it represents the colour white :
At first sight, I just thought this bird is so cute but it's not possible to take it home as a pet, so I took some pics. For me "White" is associated with "so pure", "entirely new" or any positive aspects...I thought my pic is a perfect match to your calendar of 2012 since I'm quite sure this benign smile of snowy owl can make everybody happy, is a good sign for a new start.

I'm happy if you like it !

Madoka Tamura

Your comments

Tell us what you think about this photo. Each month throughout 2012 we'll be focussing on a different colour. In January we're starting with white and this lovely photo from Madoka Tamura. What English idioms do you know that contain the word white? You should be able to find some on our website. We'll publish our favourite comments and give you some "white" idioms later this month.


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    • 1. At 6:27pm on 04 Jan 2012, Chimaera91 wrote:

      Oh my god! Awesome!
      Perfectly fits in the winter atmosphere and makes you smile despite winter depression. :)

      Just wondered myself, how you were able to take such a photo. Was it asleep?

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    • 2. At 6:58pm on 04 Jan 2012, maydinn wrote:

      This photo is so cute and i had the same will about taking it as a pet as soon as i saw it.I loved it. It is the cutest bird i have ever seen.As an idiom ,something came to my mind like ' whiter than white'. It means completely good and honest.In today s world ,it is hard to find someone that is whiter than white but i believe it worths to be looked for.

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    • 3. At 00:07am on 05 Jan 2012, Din Islam wrote:

      Its a really nice picture. Eagerly waiting for idioms related to the word 'white'.

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    • 4. At 01:01am on 05 Jan 2012, Shine05 wrote:

      - Put something down in black and white: To make contrast, make clearly something
      - A white lie: A lie doesn't hurt anyone

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    • 5. At 02:13am on 05 Jan 2012, handona wrote:

      it is very nice photo although i don't like owl but this is look very cute and it really refer to a new start.

      Good job Madoka

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    • 6. At 04:13am on 05 Jan 2012, Remi wrote:

      On watching this photo, which I didn't know what it was, I wondered what it was and wanted to know about the photo.
      Owl! I think he is sleeping with so happy an expression with relief. I didn't know a zoo were there in Kyoto. Including this, thank you for your showing the photo to this site.

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    • 7. At 09:07am on 05 Jan 2012, Janetta wrote:

      Really I didn't understand this picture at once. I didn't recognize snowy owl. In any case I completely agree with your choice because the word white is the symbol of a new and a sincerity. "White" is the beginning of all beginnings. We have an expression "to start with a white sheet". It means to forget all bad things in the past and start a new life with bright pages

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    • 8. At 11:30am on 05 Jan 2012, Varisha wrote:


      Like others I did not understand at first sight what the picture is about. But since white is my favourite colour, it attracted me as it is "as white as snow". I think the colour white represents cleanliness, and purity for me anyway. I am easily attracted to anything white and that's why I have most things in my house white, like my bathroom and kitchen.

      The idioms that come to mind with the word white in it would be:

      "a white lie" which means that a lie is being told without the intention of upsetting someone.

      "in black in white", meaning that an agreement or something else is written clearly.

      "as white as a ghost", something that frightens a person. For example, if a person hears bad news and gets shocked then it will be right to say that when he heard the news he turned "as white as a ghost". The idiom "as white as a sheet" could also be used in the same context.

      Looking forward to more idioms in relation to the word white.

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    • 9. At 2:32pm on 05 Jan 2012, Paola wrote:

      Nice Picture, I love it!

      You´re right!!! the perfect color in January is white, because means brightness and hope in a new year.


      Paola :)

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    • 10. At 7:47pm on 05 Jan 2012, Ollab wrote:

      To have a white Christmas is an English idiom. It means a Christmas with snow fall.

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    • 11. At 03:56am on 06 Jan 2012, TTAUS wrote:

      This photo is so gorgeous and she looks like a cat than an owl. Unfortunately, the white colour doesn't mean a good thing in my country and the best one is "Red" colour, let have a guess, what country is it? Anyway, thank you for your photo and happy new year to everyone.

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    • 12. At 04:23am on 06 Jan 2012, Congdang wrote:

      white is the color of the winter, it's cold and empty, but I think this picture is very cute, may be it's kit bird, may be it was cold and hungry, it is sleeping and dreaming about spring, happy new year kit, goodbye the cold,

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    • 13. At 11:02am on 06 Jan 2012, MaXaRaDzzE wrote:

      Is the nice owl:)) Happy belated New YEar! :)))

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    • 14. At 7:54pm on 06 Jan 2012, Discip wrote:

      Happy New Year!

      Beatiful picture in white!

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    • 15. At 02:45am on 07 Jan 2012, Gulfairus wrote:

      I'm totally agree with you. The owl in the pic is so cute like baby)))

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    • 16. At 08:39am on 10 Jan 2012, Fercho_XD wrote:

      Actually I study in a mexican university, here habit a lot of owls, but I never saw someone in white, and smiling... It look like this ^,^

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    • 17. At 3:35pm on 11 Jan 2012, enlil wrote:

      sleepy bird :))) It's purity with lovely white color warms up snowy winter days and gives hope. It looks like quite sure about that sunshine will occur to fullfill all our wishes after its hibernation.

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    • 18. At 11:20pm on 11 Jan 2012, ksana wrote:

      very nice photo, just can't stop watching....such a pure beauty!!!!!

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    • 19. At 06:55am on 12 Jan 2012, Tereza wrote:

      Oh, the photo is lovely! Yes, it really represents the white colour, the January, the snow...

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    • 20. At 08:42am on 13 Jan 2012, Nurkhalish Daud wrote:

      it's so cute owl...... :) :)

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    • 21. At 10:42am on 14 Jan 2012, Maryama wrote:

      I really didn't like this picture,immediately I felt very lazy and my eyes not opening.

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    • 22. At 9:00pm on 18 Jan 2012, aboora wrote:

      i like the pic,its very nice, the most attractive thing in is the whiteness ....

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    • 23. At 7:08pm on 26 Jan 2012, Lucy wrote:

      For the first time I saw this, I absolutely loved it! I immediately changed my desktop background image.

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    • 24. At 12:41pm on 31 Jan 2012, sonia durao wrote:

      I thought the pic were a cat, I loved owls and I have ever seen a white owl. I and my daughter love white flowers. We have several different species of white roses. There is one that is special, is a white one that gives clusters with than more fifteen roses in each bunch. It's a spetacle!
      I like very much what Varisha write, I learn a lot.
      Is Varisha a native speaker or learner? Male or female? I'd like to know.

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    • 25. At 1:57pm on 31 Jan 2012, artyomnvkv wrote:

      Really lovely picture. And about idioms...To whitewash - to make something looks better than it is in real.

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