Meet SoCal’s Equivalent to Punxsutawney Phil

Happy Groundhog Day! While we all know the charming story of famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil and his penchant for predicting the weather, here in SoCal, our temperatures don’t seem to be tied to the shadow, or lack thereof, of a large rodent. But we do have our own seasonal prognosticating animal – Meet Mojave Maxine – a desert tortoise who resides at The Living Desert animal park in Palm Desert.

Mojave Maxine

Legend has it that Maxine will emerge from her rock-filled burrow when spring, or at least springlike weather, is drawing near. There’s a contest on each year, for students across the region, to guess the date and time Maxine will make her first cameo of the year. Go ahead and have your students make their own best guesses!