I hiked Badger Mountain this morning -- a beautiful, sunny, cool morning. This area was once shrub-steppe, a quilt of sage brush, tumbleweed, prairie grass, and various wild flowers, depending on the season. The foothills below the mountain are being developed -- lots of upscale homes are being built. Fortunately, some farsighted people established a grassroots effort, Friends of Badger Mountain, to preserve the trail and over 500 acres for hiking and recreation. If you're lucky, you'll see coyotes, deer, jackrabbits, rattlesnakes, and other wildlife, plus beautiful desert flowers in the spring. It's a steep climb -- 800 ft in a little over a mile, but the views are well worth the effort.