I went to a local builders' lumberyard because the local Home Depot doesn't stock spruce 4x4. This yard is the kind you pay inside and drive out in a huge parking lot and someone else loads stuff into your car. (A policy is that you don't get to pick your own lumber.) Note that lumber sits outdoors, most with plastic wrap around each stack/bundle/whatever-you-call-those-things.
The only 4x4 they had on stock had small black speckles all over the wood, and I immediately suspected mold. Some surfaces of the wood felt damp to the touch, as if it were not covered during yesterday's rainfall. It was a far cry from the nice super-white studs you see in the local Home Depot that probably spend more of their time indoors than we people do. To their credit, the guy did look over all 4 sides and chose the best ones for me. (I asked the rep about the appearance, he said "it's only spruce" as if its customary not to expect too much of it.)
I suppose my question is: what kind of quality should one be able to expect from a lumberyard where the goods are stored outdoors? I can't imagine all stock being as dirty-looking as the stuff I got; these guys cater to homebuilders and what-not, and the studs in my new home looked extremely clean in comparison, and I know most of the studs in my home sat outside in the rain before being finally used in construction.
(Sorry if I sound paranoid.)