I believe this is the Mountan Mahogany. There are several of these shrubs in our yard. Every fall they get fuzzy, curly seed pods.
Aren't these the coolest things. They make the strangest shapes. I'm sure that there's a mathematical formula to describe the curve, just like a chambered nautilus.
These swirls show up often in nature - on grape vines, morning glories and peas. But these seem the most unlikely to me.
Swirls and curves are also popular design elements and often add a whimsical touch to samplers.