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Weird mushroom in the back yard

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.

IMG_3807These 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.

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