strange, alien-looking root
A few weeks ago I noticed this weird, withered, red, crepe paper-esque root under my 3 year old lilac bush. I figured the roots were actually fuses or something from fireworks, as it was July 5, and my neighborhood had been shooting them off the night before. But since, I have seen nearly 10 more under the bush. I can't find anything like them in all my searches, and a local greenhouse had no idea what they might be. I'm inclined to believe they're aliens...but I'd like a more terrestrial explanation, if it's possible. Anyone seen anything like this? I love my lilac, and I don't want it to die!