Received these photos from Kiki Fontenot of a bird’s nest fungus growing in amongst some strawberries at one of her school/community gardens. The tiny “nests” are the fruiting bodies of this fungus and are called peridia, which function as splash cups. If a raindrop hits at the right angle, it ejects the “egg” (or peridiole) aiding in its dispersal. The bird’s nest fungi are not pathogens and get their nutrition from decaying wood or other plant matter. For more information, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nidulariaceae.
Donald M. Ferrin, Ph.D., Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA