Mojave Maxine Emergence Contest Is On

The Living Desert's famous desert tortoise leaves her burrow when spring is nigh.

LONGING FOR A NAP... right about now? Wishing you could grab another hour or two a night? Hoping that you can just rest your eyelids for a few as the holiday hubbub continues around you? You're 100% not alone, for the celebratory season has a way of making a person desire a little downtime in the face of so much uptime. Even if an extra 20 minutes of snoozy town isn't in the works for you right now, given the 93 different things you must, must, must get done before the year ends, you can take a bit of solace in the fact that a true Golden State celebrity is getting a whole bunch of shut-eye at the moment. And she didn't just settle down for that spate of shut-eye-a-tude, either; it began for her in early December, a fact that might make any especially tired person jealous at the moment. We speak, of course, of the great...

MOJAVE MAXINE, a desert tortoise who calls The Living Desert in Palm Desert home (that's a lot of "desert" in one sentence, true, but the desert does rule things in Maxine's amazing world). Some think of Mojave Maxine as the Punxsutawney Phil of California, though surely that sweet shadow-seeking groundhog wouldn't mind it if we referred to him as the Mojave Maxine of Pennsylvania. This is all to say this: The shell-rocking superstar settled down for her annual brumation period, or cold-blooded hibernation, around Dec. 6, 2017. She won't wakey-wakey for several weeks, and if past years are a guide, she'll pop out (which means slowly and grandly walk out, tortoise-style) from her burrow around the beginning of the second week in February.

THERE'S A CONTEST, for students, involving just when she'll emerge, so read all if you have a schoolkid in the house. And whenever things get too harried, with the holidays, just think of that adorable desert tortoise. Ponder, too, just when Mojave Maxine will emerge, which some say means spring has officially arrived in the glorious California desert.

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