News & Politics

This Turtle Has Figured Out How to Deal With DC’s Miserable Summers

Let us all be more like the Australian snake-necked turtle, and estivate

See you in October. (Photograph via iStock.)

As if the Australian snake-necked turtle didn’t have enough going for it, with that magnificent neck, its preference for slow-moving water, and its long life span. These magnificent beasts, Smithsonian’s National Zoo informs us, tend to estivate—”pass the summer in a dormant state,” per Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition—when it gets too hot for business.

Estivate! If you know of a better strategy for dealing with DC’s excruciating summers, please email me. For now I am declaring the Australian snake-necked turtle my summer hero. Please don’t kick any piles of leaves you encounter; I may be under one.

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.