I was not disappointed. I found these alien looking plants poking out from beneath the dried leaves. I had never seen anything like this before but they reminded me of some of the tubers that grow in the tropical rainforest of the West Indies where I grew up. I also had flash backs of alien movies where the aliens hatch from pods that they planted on earth in preparation for their invasion. These are nothing that sinister but they do have a sinister sounding name, Skunk cabbage. After returning home I did a quick wikipedia search.
Eastern Skunk Cabbage, Clumpfoot Cabbage, Foetid Pothos, Meadow Cabbage, Polecat Weed, Skunk Cabbage, or Swamp Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus), commonly known as simply Skunk Cabbage, is a low growing, foul smelling plant that prefers wetlands. It can be found naturally in eastern North America, from Nova Scotia and southern Quebec west to Minnesota, and south to North Carolina and Tennessee, and also in northeastern Asia, in eastern Siberia, northeastern China, Korea andJapan. Skunk cabbage is protected as a state endangered plant in Tennessee.
I am so happy I did not touch them. The weird looking pods I photographed are the flowers of the plant. Later in the year broad green leaves will appear.