I spotted this...thing...while backpacking in the Rincon Mountains east of Tucson, Arizona. Please see the photo posted at http://what.sierra-hikes.com. It's black and spongy, about 1 1/4 inches wide, sitting directly on the ground. There don't seem to be any roots or legs or wings. Most of the others I spotted on this trip did not have the pod attached to the top. Those were flat and the center was white. I've seen this before while hiking in the White Mountains of Arizona. Any ideas? Some sort of mushroom? Some alien seed pod? The object up and to the left is a cone from a Smooth-bark Arizona cypress.