The season of indian pipe is upon us again. That it has appeared this early in the summer may be a result of our recent rain and cloud.
Although it looks like a fungus, indian pipe is indeed a plant, but one that lacks chlorophyll and so cannot manufacture its own carbohydrates. Rather, it obtains carbohydrates from another plant (such as a tree) through a fungal intermediary. This tactic enables it to compete successfully on the dark forest floor where little sunlight penetrates.
Indian pipe has started pushing its way above ground. Soon, its white flowers will attract bees.