While walking in the Conservation Land near Horn Pond in Woburn, I saw some unusual, lacy bell-shaped pods hanging from vines along the trail. At this time of year, it's typically very cold, and the trail is often blocked by trees bent over by heavy, wet snow. And there's usually a flock of Robins watching you from all along this particular trail (they stay there through the Winter), so it is a lot like walking through Gang Turf.
But today, it is warmish and very gray out, and I noticed these pods instead. Even though I have lived in New England for a very long time, I've never seen anything like them before. They must be the skeletons of some sort of plant growth, but they most resemble little loofahs that have been cut in half. Since they are growing on vines, I guess that makes them "Tree Sponges". (Click on any photo to see larger versions.)