Fungi are one of the more frustrating things to try to identify. I thought bugs were bad, but at least BugGuide is pretty dang inclusive. No such comprehensive reference exists for mushrooms, so far as I know.
You'd think this sweet little cup-type would be easy to identify. I was thinking, well it looks like a bird's nest fungus, only without the "eggs". But I can't seem to find any reference to anything like that, not to one that isn't "densely hairy" anyway. Maybe its hairs are all repressed, what with the drought...?
Sometimes it helps to just google what something looks like. (The top search term that finds this blog has been "yellow fuzzy caterpillar" for over 2 years now.)
But trying to find "yellow sandwich fungus" didn't do me much good.
I do believe it's the same fungus as this one, which he calls Stacka hydnum (which you'd think would be the scientific name, but isn't). But other pictures of Climacodon septentrionalis (the real scientific name) look completely different to me.
Then there's this black stuff.
If you look at this site, you'd be pretty convinced that it's Diatrype stigma, common tarcrust.
But if you went by this image, or this one, you might not.
And is this even the same black stuff? It seemed thin and crusty, whereas the others were thicker and sort of... puffed.
I do think, after looking at several images for common tarcrust, that it's what I've been seeing when it seems like there are several old burned branches in an area with no other signs of fire.