Strange Growth in Mulch

Okay, if anyone can answer this one, I will really be impressed with this group! We have these salmon-colored "tubes" that grow out of the mulch around our shrubs. The look like Alaskan crab legs to me but have the texture of a deflated tubular balloon. They have a dark brown tip (our mulch is dark brown) and they grow straight up, about 5 inches. I was outside digging them up when I found that they start out as a soft, spongy, egg-shaped ball. I found several clumped together that had not "hatched" yet and when I broke one that was starting to hatch, a clear liquid came out. Can anyone tell me what they are? I figure that they must be some sort of fungus or mold-type plant, but noticed that they can grow in dirt too.
I can post a picture if needed. Thanks for your help- my wife is mortified when she sees them coming up!
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admin wrote:

Is the mulch cedar? Sounds like you might have some cedar-apple rust galls coming alive.
Check out the pictures on this site:
http://www.ento.okstate.edu/ddd/diseases/cedarapplerust.htm
or here:
http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/3000/3055.html
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Opps, let's try those photos again!On Fri, 27 Jun 2003 03:28:49 GMT,

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