Happy 40th, Mojave Maxine

The California desert's springtime prognosticator marks a cakeful milestone.

The Living Desert

MOJAVE MAXINE... isn't shy, in the traditional sense, nor is she looking to avoid the limelight (we don't really know the desert tortoise's opinions on fame, and we wouldn't dare assume). But the fact of the Maxinely matter? We are thinking a lot about the celebrated resident of The Living Desert when we're not seeing her. This could lead a person to the conclusion that she is shy or not interested in the public, but the case is not that at all. Rather, Mojave Maxine's brumation, or hibernation, if you prefer, attracts a lot of attention each year, especially around the beginning of February, when Maxine-focused observers begin to keep a keen eye on her Palm Desert-based burrow. For when she emerges, that's when springtime has arrived in the California desert, or so says local tradition. But Mojave Maxine mavens were seeing quite a bit of the hard-shell'd celeb on April 22, 2017 when she stepped out, along with her tortoise entourage, to celebrate...

HER 40TH BIRTHDAY: The tag says it all — #fabulousatForty — and the Earth Day-sweet timing was ideal, given the conservation causes surrounding the tortoise and a host of beasties in arid landscapes (and beyond). As for Maxine's "cake"? It was heavy on the vegetables, which, to a tortoise, is like chocolate for humans. (Yum yum, basically.) The desert tortoise's lifespan is a lengthy one, stretching up to the 80-year range, at the top end, meaning Mojave Maxine has many more vege cakes to enjoy. And, of course, many more springtime-starts to predict, beginning, as is tradition, around the beginning of February.

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