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I was walking around my backyard and step on what I thought was a pile of dirt. Almost immediately after stepping on it, a puff of brown dusted emanated from this and I was taken back. Upon further inspection, I thought maybe it was dried up moss because it seemed to be attached and was one big patch of this brown stuff. After some research I started to wonder if it is some sort of fungi or mold.

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The reason I ask is that I have never experience such a thing that produced dust upon being disturbed. So I want to know if this is dead and dried up or if this "powdery property" is something that allows it to spread more easily. Hopefully being able to identify what this is will aid in my search. If it helps in identification, I live in New Jersey, United States.

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    Have you tried looking under it? Maybe the soil is dry and there is a hole made by a vermin underneath. Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 1:26
  • @RohitGupta Yes, there was no hole under it but this is a good suggestion as it’s not apparent from my picture.
    – anon
    Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 19:21

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Sounds like a puffball mushroom. Can't tell much from the remains, but the cloud of spores when burst is indicative. They are quite common.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puffball

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  • Yeah, you beat me to it - that's a disintegrated puffball from last fall.
    – Jurp
    Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 17:25

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