It's fall, so I thought I would start submitting my mushroom photos again. The Panther Amanita, Amanita pantherina, is a common mushroom of the Pacific Northwest's Douglas-fir forests. Although typically encountered during the fall, I found a "bumper crop" of the mushrooms growing in a 30-year old Douglas-fir woodland in April 2005. The photo shows the classic features of this fungus: the grayish-brown cap with white patches (remanants of the universal veil), the collar-like rim around the base, and the flaring annulus on the stem (remnants of the partial veil that covers the gills. In this example, it's torn and partially collapsed). Like its well-known cousin the Fly Amanita (Amanita muscaria), the Panther Amanita contains ibotenic acid, a toxin that produces, according to one text, "brief drowsiness...a state of excitement resembling alcoholic intoxication, which may last for 4 hours or more, characterized by confusion, muscle spasms, delirium, hallucinations, and disturbances of vision..." In other words, this mushroom is nothing to fool around with!