Finally, I pin pointed the source.
Under a back stoop, lo and behold, there was a freshly born alien plant life. I screamed at the top of lungs "Sweetie, come here! What is this!?"
My husband came tearing outside, "What's wrong?!" Probably thinking I had cut my hand off or something.
I asked him, "WHAT is THAT!" pointing at the odious offender.
He calmly responded "Oh, that's just a Stinkhorn. We used to call it 'stink cabbage' when I was kid." Then he continued to relate how they as youths would throw these horrible things at each other! [sigh] Boys ...
I had to look this thing up on the internet.
At the web site MushroomExpert.Com, the little monster has a rather fancy name of Clathrus columnatus, aka Stinkhorn.
"Ecology: Saprobic; growing alone or gregariously; often near woody debris (and apparently sometimes growing right out of the sides of living trees); in lawns, gardens, cultivated soil, and so on; from North Carolina to the Gulf coast, and in Mexico (reported as far north as New York); October through March."
Sure enough, there's wood mulch under the stoop and it's the right time of year.
Well, next time my nostril radar picks up one of these, I'm running the other way! The mushroom is a lovely orange color but it smells like dog doo on steroids. So, it just goes to show one, you can't judge a mushroom by it's color.