The best thing about last weekend's heat wave is that it provoked our reptiles into summertime friskiness. We've seen the box turtles Tim and Marie almost every day and our desert tortoise Felicia quite a bit. But our favorite Max -- he's the friendliest of the four -- proved elusive. Until this evening, that is. As the winds picked up with a preview of the monsoon we eagerly await each year -- it usually arrives in the first or second week of July -- Kim went outside to inhale the rain-scented air and there was Max. Everyone rejoiced. And I took lots of pictures from a prone position, not because he would be scared of my presence but because I wanted a less anthropomorphic perspective. kdotdammit will probably post a close-up or two later, but for now let me share a tortoise-eye view of our backyard. Even the Bean looks giant from ground level:I bet you haven't seen too many action shots of an unusually sprightly desert tortoise on the go, but that's what this photo is. I can't tell you how delighted I was to see that the Max has emerged from his backyard hibernation as healthy as he went into it and a little bigger to boot.