In Search of Southern Comforts

It’s too early for morels, probably too dry, too, but I headed to Virginia last week looking for my favorite springtime wild edible anyway. Actually, that’s not true. I went south to learn about Virginia wines and to attend the Virginia Wine Summit, but that gave me an excuse to arrive early and scout the area.

I made Front Royal, at the northern head of Shenandoah National Park, my headquarters for two days. Here, I hiked into the National Park and also along the Appalachian Trail, coming up empty handed both days. Well, mostly empty handed. I did find what I think is marsh marigold (poisonous when eaten raw) which I’m planning to further investigate. (Not eat.) I stumbled upon a big cup fungus—perhaps a Devil’s Urn—with a snail making its home inside. And—no surprise here—I found wild onion growing at the trailhead. As usual, these were discovered upon returning to the car.


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