I have lived in this home for 27 years (Cockeysville, MD) and NEVER seen any of this stuff around the yard. When I scraped up some of this stuff with a trowel there was a powdery nature to it (spores?). It is showing up in the shaded area of our south and north facing yards. How do I get rid of it? Is it harmful to humans or animals? Thanks for your help. Pictures attached.
Yes, this is a fungi, or mold, growing on some organic matter in the soil. The powder you saw was spores. It is not harmful. Perhaps your soil is shadier and has more organic matter in it than in previous years. We have had a lot of rain recently and mushrooms (the fruiting bodies of fungi) are popping up everywhere in lawns. There is no need for concern. It will disappear, or you can scrape it up as you did.
Thank you for your quick response. Yes, we are noticing lots of mushrooms popping up in the grass this year. I feel much better based on your response.