All Eyes on the Mojave Maxine Live Feed

When will California's own spring-predicting desert tortoise finally leave her burrow?

THE SHEER SUSPENSE... might be too much to take, to be honest. Every little movement of the tree branches, and every tiny shift of any rock, and you're bound to think that something big is about to happen. And something big is going to happen, in the next few weeks, though when exactly remains a mystery. The "where exactly," though, is known: The Living Desert in Palm Desert. We're talking about the animal park's celebrated spring-predicting denizen...

MOJAVE MAXINE, of course, and while some might call her the West Coast's answer to Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania groundhog, we might lovingly call Phil the Mojave Maxine of The Keystone State. Both critters are said to have a nose for when spring's on the way, and while Phil's prediction is very much about his shadow, the desert tortoise's famous prognostication is tied to when she leaves her burrow. That's where she has been enjoying her brumation, a hibernation for cold-blooded beasties, for several weeks, and when she departs it, spring in the desert is said to be on the near horizon. When will the desert tortoise finally trundle outside that burrow, though? Get excited, for there's now...

A LIVE FEED... that'll allow Maxine fans to keep a minute-by-minute watch on the burrow's entrance/exit. How will you pull yourself away? Keep in mind that Maxine has emerged in recent years around the end of the first week in February, though that could, of course, change. It's all in Maxine's hands (er, claws). Also? Students are invited to enter a contest predicting when we'll see Mojave Maxine for the first time in 2018. Details are here, as well as that riveting live feed. Along with the live cams focused on various eagle nests in the Golden State, area animal enthusiasts have a lot to keep tabs on, during the winter, from the comfort of their computer chair.

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