One of the better things about gardening is that there are always discoveries to be made. You can be doing the most mundane thing, cutting back asparagus fronds for example, and some little thing, down low along the soil line will catch your attention. Our brains, always seeking out patterns and connections, will hone in on the most minute formations.
I've never seen this dainty little thing before. I thought it was a cut asparagus spear that had dried and shriveled at first but that wasn't right. I gently scooped it from the soil and took it to our new neighbor who, I am convinced, knows everything about everything that happens in the soil. I don't know how we ever got so lucky to have them as neighbors.
She took one quick look and knew right away what it was that I'd found. It's a bird's nest fungus and it aids in decomposition. It's a beautiful thing to look at. There are clusters of them all over the surface of the 4x4 that the asparagus is in. Lesson learned: Tread carefully and look close both in gardening and in life. You never know what you'll find.