Foe..... potentially.... but likely not. Make sense?
At first glance, you would never think that this strange cocoon like ....thing .... is actually a live worm. Which is technically a caterpillar. This critter is called a bagworm and will eventually turn into a moth. What you are seeing could be a live worm, or it could be a a cocoon inside. The fact that we don't know is proof that the bagworm's disguise works.
After hatching from an egg, the bagworm begins to spin some silk in order to be caught in the wind. Think of it like a sail. With enough wind, the baby bagworm will get pulled up into the air in search for an edible host where it can begin to eat and grow.
As the bagworm grows, it uses silk to attach small pieces of leaves, twigs, and other debris to it's bag-like enclosure. It will cover itself completely until all but it's head is enclosed. This allows the worm to still reach out and eat and grow.
Eventually, it will have eaten and grown enough. The bagworm will attach itself to a sturdy place, seal off it's bag around the head, and begin metamorphosis.
Bagworm damage in the garden is typically not destructive to common desired plants. Hence why we labeled it a foe, but not likely. This picture is on my mulberry tree, which would be concerning to me if there was significant damage. But outside of some small leaf damage, the 3 year old tree is healthy as can be. Mulberry is not listed as a common host and so maybe this bagworm is actually in cocoon here. The common hosts are juniper, live oak, pine, willow, Indian Hawthorne, ligustrum, and viburnum. Additionally, the bagworm is not common in zones further south than 8A. I am in zone 9b, so the internet says I have a rare find. But, this is definitely not the first time the bagworm has been seen in my garden.
If you see the bagworm in your yard, take a minute to admire it's creation and disguise. These guys are definitely something special.