An interesting email on May 26, ’10 from David and Sue S., new residents to Bend and old-time mushroomers,
“Regarding our morel hunting. We have really only been out about three times since arriving here. However, we have collected roughly 20-30 morels each time involving about 3-4 hours hiking around the woods. We wasted a lot of time just looking at the country side up in the Metolius River drainage and trying to determine where we were. The purchase of the District Ranger topo map with all the USFS road numbers has helped that situation. On our trip yesterday, we found a number of large morels that stuck out like sore thumbs.
About a week ago we were in the vicinity of Jack Creek drainage at about 3200 feet and met a Laotian couple in the woods. Susie talked with them in Thai and we found out that the buyer pays them $12 for blonde morels and $10 for black morels. The woman had a couple of nice young Spring Boletes with bright yellow spore tubes in her bucket which the buyer is willing to pay them $18/lb. We, in the meantime, had found a couple nice patches of yellow Ramaria rasilispora (?) which we brought home and cleaned and ate for dinner and prepared the remainder for freezing.
The Laotian couple were very friendly and took us to their “mushroom camp” in an area set aside by the USFS for the commercial pickers. They have been here since beginning of May and go out everyday and spend the entire day in the forests coming back to the camp before 7:00pm when the buyer arrives. She said they will move next to “Bend” for Boletes, but she couldn’t tell us exactly where in the “Bend” area they would camp and exactly when they would move. But, apparently, they go to the same spot every year.
This fact made me wonder where exactly in the Bend area are the Boletes?”
The boletes the Laotion woman was picking were most likely Boletus regius (Red-capped Butter Boletes ) because they have bright yellow pores. We have collected them in the spring along Hwy 97 on the way to Sunriver. They are tasty, not as good as King Boletes, quickly wormy, but worth taking. The cap color is supposed to be rosy red, but ours have been more ruddy colored. You did not mention anything about the blue staining of the pores.
Here is a Boletus regius photo I found on the internet:
The spring kings we found in large quantity last spring are called Boletus rex-veris and fruit along the many roads leading to Mt. Bachelor just as the morels wane. Spring kings are rusty brick brown instead of warm tawny brown of B.edulis and have a tapered to equal stem instead of a bulbous bottom. I think the spring kings are quite good and I am not sure I would know the difference, though some of you certainly say so. Any comments?
I would easily pay $12 a pound for blonde morels and quite happily buy blacks at $10, for all the walking and driving required to bring home a stash. Where are those commercial guys when I am tired of looking? – Linda