These weird things..

..have emerged from the soil:

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They are growing at the base of a Holm Oak, which is also where these White Saddles appeared last Autumn:

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I know that Holm Oaks are one of the trees used in truffle farms in France and so my supposition is that the root area of these trees creates a very specific habitat which favours more specialised fungus such as truffles and also these two above.

On trying to identify this cup fungus that has appeared, I find there are lots and lots of cup fungal species – the most well known perhaps being the Scarlet Elf Cup – and some of them are notoriously difficult to tell apart requiring microscope work.

My best guess is that this is Bay Cup fungus, Peziza badia, although no microscope work has been involved in this identification!

Also under the Holm Oak is this lovely wild strawberry in flower that I include here to provide happy contrast to weird fungal bits:

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