Mojave Maxine Makes Her Spring Debut

The Living Desert's famous desert tortoise emerged for spring.

LOOK, HONEST AND TRULY... we know it isn't spring yet, officially and by the calendar and all that. We're deep in wintertime, seasonally, planetarily, and Valentine's Day and Presidents Day, two major winter holidays, are still yet to come as of this typing. But try explaining this to Mojave Maxine, who clearly has her own mind about where the seasons stand. Who's Mojave Maxine, you politely query? Well, she's just about one of the most famous residents of the desert resort cities, and perhaps the most beloved Desert Tortoise around (with all due respect to the celebrated tortoises of the San Diego Zoo and elsewhere). Not only does she have a catchy, alliterative moniker, but she has a major role to play each February: Predict springtime. We know, we know, that's a role that belongs to another famous beastie, Punxsutawney Phil, who typically is out of the gate on the prognosticating end of things a full week or so before Mojave Maxine makes a showing. But while Phil is all about his shadow -- he doesn't choose Feb. 2 as his officiate date to see it or not -- Maxine is fully in control of her springtime prediction. As in, she emerges from her cozy burrow at The Living Desert in Palm Desert when she is good and ready.

AND SHE WAS GOOD AND READY... on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016 at four minutes to noon. Her debut comes a day earlier than when she emerged in 2015, so read into that what you will. And if you're a SoCal schoolkid who submitted a guess, as to when Mojave Maxine would make her spring's-here debut, well, you might have won (the animal preserve will be in touch and make the official announcements soon). Any way you look at it, Mojave Maxine is desert California's charming answer to the charming Punxsutawney Phil, a true character who has a friend in a certain Palm Springs-close tortoise. Do you think they text each other in January, discussing predictions and possible shadow/spring outcomes? Do they use groundhog and tortoise emojis, too, as they talk? Perhaps not, and we would never want them to be in competition. A side note: You can visit The Living Desert to see Mojave Maxine now that she's out of her burrow, and the other amazing animals that call arid lands home. One fun thing coming up? There's a special Breakfast with the Animals just ahead, on Feb. 13. Just be sure to raise your cup of juice to the famous tortoise's spring 2016 reveal.

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Full video of Mojave Maxine emerging! #springIsHere #theLivingDesert Posted by The Living Desert on Monday, 8 February 2016

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