We have a long backyard with a wooded section at the back. I was out there stopping the woods from taking over the yard when I noticed some strange fungi beside an old maple stump. I happen to know this weird item. It’s Xylaria polymorpha, better known as Dead Man’s Fingers.
These are young specimens, pale in colour with whitish tips. As summer progresses, they will start blacken and dry out, changing quite a bit through the season. I come across these from time to time in my foraging, and they always surprise me, simply because they are so odd-looking. They’re tough, woody fungi. I don’t know if they are poisonous but certainly they are not edible.