King Boletes, Porcinis - In search of Morels


Porcinis!!  and a small Puffball ©Levi Old
The other day while scouting for a new project near the Fall River in Oregon, I decided to take a detour into the Ponderosa pine forest in search of morel mushrooms. Morels are a prized find that usually come around in the spring season. They like areas grow in areas post forest fire. I've only hunted for morels a couple of days in my life, and never had much success.

My greatest successes have come when I wasn't looking for them. One day when I was fishing in Montana's famous Rock Creek drainage, a beautiful Blue-Ribbon trout stream that flows from the Sapphire and Cabinet Mountains outside Missoula into the Clark Fork, I ran into a large patch of morels under a stand of cottonwoos trees. Rock Creek has been threatened by a proposed copper and silver mine for years before being defeated multiple times in court. Hopefully it will remain pristine for years to come Rock Creek Mine.

On Fall River, after searching in the pine forest for thrity minutes and only finding non-edible mushrooms, I came across a huge mushroom lying mostly covered under pine needles. AHHHH yes, a member of the boletes, a prized edible found here in the NW. After identifying the habitat of this mushroom I was able to find several more before reaching my truck. They are a mushroom often found in the Autumn season. King boletes, Boletus edulis, have a tan to red skin, pores white, that becomes olive to tawny yellowish with age or bruising. I brought these delicious home, sauteed them up and enjoyed their delectable meaty flavor. There are several ways to figure out if you have a bolete and if the bolete is edible. Check a good mushroom book and consult experts before munching down  Luckily, none of these are very poisonous, at the most one will get treated to a mild period of gastrointestinal discomfort.

Bolete ©Levi Old
boletus ©Levi Old
                             Corral Mushroom- a week to late for this yummy creature. ©Levi Old
The Fall River, smoke from prescribed burn in the background. ©Levi Old

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