One of the goals that I set out for myself last fall was to pay closer attention to the wild things growing on my property. I am almost completely illiterate when it comes to identifying plants, both beneficial and harmful, and this is something that I want to remedy. In doing so, I've noticed that we've got quite the variety of fungi. This spring, these little guys cropped up in my "wheat field" (the 10' x 20' plot that I planted in winter wheat last fall).
They're small, ranging from half an inch across for individuals, to 2 1/2 inches across for clusters. The flesh ranges in color from orange to yellow, is hard and brittle, with no stem. They are saprobic, growing on bare ground that is rich in woody compost, but with heavy clay just 2 inches below that.
I know that they're some sort of cup fungus; I think either Aleuria aurantia ("Orange Peel Fungus") or Otidea onotica ("Hare's Ear"), but none of the pictures that I've seen of either look exactly like these.
Have you come across these before? What fungi grow in your garden?
Update: My mom forwarded the photos to "her guy" at ISU and he said they looked like they were some sort of Peziza. Looking at the different varieties, I would say maybe Peziza repanda or Peziza arvernensis.