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Canny lass

Animal, vegetable or mineral?

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Does anybody have any idea what this is?

I cover my flower beds witha 4" layer of wood chips to prevent weeds growing. Every 4-5 years I dig it in and replace it (as most of it has turned to soil anyway). Last week I found loads of these 'things' on the wood chips that remained. The largest of those shown are about 6mm in diameter and about 5mm in height. The 'cup' is leathery rather than hard but that may be due to   the wet weather. I think it might be 'vegetable' but my OH (who's never seen them before, either) thinks they may be 'animal' - insect eggs to be more precise. 

The first picture shows the smaller ones, in which the contents of the cups seem to be covered in some sort of protective membrane.



Edited by Canny lass

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Thank you! I would never have guessed fungus! I'm very pleased to know that they are beneficial rather than dangerous as I was having visions of having to replace all the soil in the spring.

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