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Mantario Summer Specialty Program Week

2017 August 14 to 18


Specialty leaders Donna R. Kurt & Lorne Klassen

to be held at Nature Manitoba's

Mantario Wilderness Education Centre

in Whiteshell Provincial Park, Manitoba

  • Experience Mantario's earthly and heavenly delights! Join Donna Kurt on mushroom forays to find out how they fit into Mantario's ecosystems with other flora and fauna and as traditional foods and medicines. Co-leader Lorne Klassen will share his expertise on butterflies, birds and astronomy while enjoying Mantario's wilderness. Optional activities include forest bathing, Qigong practice and developing canoeing skills.
  • To register for the Mushrooms & More specialty week go to Mantario Wilderness Education Centre.
  • Four participants enjoyed the inaugural version of this program week, called Mycelium Canoeing, from August 24 to 28, 2015. Go to this link to learn more Mycelium Canoeing.
  • This specialty week will expand your awareness of fungi and mushrooms in the wonder of the Mantario wilderness.
  • We will search for edible mushrooms and will also learn about toxic or poisonous species, fungal relationships with the natural world and their benefits to humans.
  • Donna has lead over 25 canoe trips to Mantario on Thanksgiving weekends since 1989 as well as several Mantario program trips focussed on canoeing instruction and has participated in many Mantario work parties.
  • During most of these canoe trips, Donna photographed and collected numerous species of mushrooms in the area. She has also been sharing her knowledge of Mushrooms for about 15 years and is rounding out her knowledge with University biology courses about mushrooms, fungi, lichens and plants as well as their Indigenous uses for food and medicine.
  • Most fungi species are integral to the existence of most plant and animal organisms. The relationships are often of mutual benefit between plants and fungi, but some fungi are parasitic; in any case, if fungi did not exist, life would not exist.
  • The varied habitat in the Mantario area provides opportunities to find many mushroom species.
  • In addition to learning more about fungal relationships with ourselves and other organisms, there will be opportunities to find and perhaps cook edible species.
  • Participants are requested to review the Discovering Mushrooms workshop presentation prior to the trip, many of the photos of mushrooms in this presentation were taken in the Mantario area.
  • There is a high probably we will pick many blueberries and enjoy blueberry pie(s).
  • Donna enjoys sharing knowledge of canoeing skills, having instructed hundreds of paddlers over the years, so there will be opportunities to practice and improve your paddling skills.
  • If participants wish, there will also be an opportunity to learn and practice 18 posture qigong and perhaps explore development of affirmations.
  • An alternative activity that can be explored throughout the week is forest bathing. Laying down in forests not only allows you to rest and relax your whole body, but it also allows the natural world to rejuvenate you with its sounds, fragrances and essences.
  • Lorne Klassen has been going to Mantario cabin in various seasons for over 20 years and has co-lead and lead a number of Mantario Summer Program trips. He is very knowledgeable about birds, butterflies and other heavenly things like stars and planets that engage our imaginations. He is also an adept canoeist and knows the Mantario area, lakes, portages and hiking trails.
  • Participants are encouraged to review the Mantario trip details shown at Charles Burchill's Mantario page website about Mantario, he provides an excellent overview of flora of the Mantario area based on numerous Mantario program weeks he has been a specialty leader for over the years.
  • The trip to Mantario cabin starts at Big Whiteshell Lake and includes paddling via Ritchey Lake, One Lake, Two Lake, Three Lake and then Mantario Lake with a portage between of each of these lakes over which the canoes and personal and shared gear must be carried. From Big Whiteshell Lake to Mantario cabin there is a total of about 18 km paddling and about 4 km portaging over Pre-Cambrian shield terrain which is rugged, boggy or muddy. Therefore the trip requires a reasonable level of fitness and is a challenge, even for seasoned canoe trippers. Thankfully, there is a sauna and a cabin available to recoup from the typically 5 to 7 hour trip. The trip back to Big Whiteshell Lake is easier, as the portages are generally more downhill and familiar and also the packs are lighter as the fresh food has been used or left at the cabin.
  • The Mantario cabin is equipped with composting toilets and outhouses and Katadyn 0.2 micron water filters to treat the lake water. There is no electric power but the cabin does have solar powered lights, propane range/stove and wood stoves. There are 4 rooms with 4 bunk beds in each room.
  • If you require more information about this Mantario program trip please contact drdrkurt at gmail.com.

Following is a list of links to trip reports and videos about some of the Mantario trips Donna Kurt has lead:

Following are two videos that are converted from a video produced by Christine Mazur about the Mantario Wilderness Zone, these videos includes footage from the Mantario 2008 Thanksgiving Canoe Trip:

Following is a partial list of Kingdom Fungi species Donna Kurt has found, photographed and/or identified in the Mantario area:

  • Amanita pantherina, The panther (poisonous)
  • Armillaria mellea, Honey mushroom, Pidpenky or Piedpenky (Ukranian, Polish) (edible)
  • Auricularia auricula, Wood ear (edible, medicinal)
  • Boletus spp, Boletus, Khorzi (Ukranian) (mostly edible, some toxic)
  • Cantharellus cibarius, Chanterelle, Girole, Sisu shamu (Himalayan) (edible)
  • Chlorociboria aeruginascens, Green stain (not edible)
  • Clavariadelphus pistillaris, Pestle-topped coral (edible)
  • Clavariadelphus truncatus, Flat-topped coral (edible)
  • Clavulina amethystina, Violet-branched coral (edible)
  • Collybia tuberosa, Tuberous collybia (not edible)
  • Coprinus atramentarius, Inky cap (edible with caution, avoid alcohol)
  • Coprinus comatus, Lawyer's wig (edible when young)
  • Crepidotus mollis, Jelly crep (not edible)
  • Fomes fomentarius, Horse's hoof, Amadou (not edible, good tinder)
  • Ganoderma apllanatum, Artist's conk (not edible)
  • Geastrum fimbriatum, Fringed earthstar, sessile earthstar (not edible)
  • Gyromitra esculenta, Brain mushroom (not edible, morel look-alike)
  • Gyromitra infula, Saddle-shaped false morel (not edible, morel look-alike)
  • Helvella elastica, Smooth-stalked helvella (not edible, morel look-alike)
  • Hypomyces lactifluorum, Lobster mushroom (edible)
  • Inonotus obliquus, Birch fungus, Chaga (medicinal)
  • Lycoperdon gemmatum or L. perlatum, Gemstudded puffball (edible)
  • Lycoperdon pyriforme, Wood puffball (edible)
  • Lycoperdon imbrinatum, Ochre puffball (edible)
  • Lycoperdon marginatum, Peeling puffball (not edible)
  • Meripilus giganteus, Black-staining polypore (edible when young)
  • Macrotyphula juncea, Fairy hair (not edible)
  • Morchella punctipes, Half-free morel, Smorzhi (Ukranian) (edible)
  • Omphalotus illudens or O. olearius, Jack-O-lantern (poisonous, chanterelle look-a-like)
  • Pholiota aurivella, Golden pholiota (poisonous)
  • Pholiota squarrosoides, Scaly pholiota (poisonous)
  • Piptoporus betulinus, Birch conk, birch polypore (cure for worms, not edible)
  • Pleurotus ostreatus, Oyster mushroom (edible, medicinal)
  • Rhizopogon roseolus, False truffle (edibility not known)
  • Royoporus badius, Black footed polypore (not edible)
  • Russula emetica, The sickener (not edible/poisonous)
  • Schizophyllum commune, Split-gill (not edible, medicinal)
  • Urnula hiemalis, Black urn fungus (not edible)
  • Xylaria hypoxolon, Carbon antlers (not edible)