A couple days ago, while wandering along the edge of the woods in my back yard, I came across some jellies growing on dead branches of willow trees. These fungi did not appear on any of the other trees in the area.
Some of these mostly conical fungi hung down from the under side of the branches, while others grew upright. These gelatinous fruiting bodies ranged in color from brownish-red to amber.
I found out that its common name is willow jelly fungus (Exidia recisa), although it is also known as amber jelly roll and willow brain along with a few other names.
Willow jelly fungi typically grow on dead branches of living willow trees, although in rare cases, they can appear on other broad leafed trees. These fungi fruit mainly in the winter, and on dry days will shrivel up, making them less conspicuous. So maybe mine will come back when the rains return.
A closely related species which can not be distinguished by microscopic analysis is Exidia repanda. This fungus typically occurs on birches, but never on willows.
I was able to obtain the identity of these fungi along with some additional information above from a site called Alan’s Blog which is part of Trees for life: Restoring the Caledonian Forest site.