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Mantario Summer Specialty Program Week

Held 2015 August 24 to 28

Specialty leader Donna R. Kurt

held at Nature Manitoba's

Mantario Wilderness Education Centre

in Whiteshell Provincial Park, Manitoba

Welcome! This page describes the Mantario 2015 Mycelium Canoeing Program week.
2015 August 24 to 28

Go to the following page to learn about the Mushrooms & More program week (2017 and on).
Mushrooms & More

  • Four participants enjoyed the inaugural Mycelium Canoeing program week from August 24 to 28, 2015. The very first night we sampled fresh wild chanterelles found on the first portage trail. On several forays we found over 120 species and brought over 60 species back to the cabin for further identification. Nightly we practiced qigong on the sauna dock under shoosting stars and most amazing displays of Aurora Borealis. Three of the participants also achieved a Paddle Canada canoeing certificate and were very pleased with their improved paddling and portaging skills.
  • The first word in the title for this program is "Mycelium" which is the name of the primary fungi organism that generates "fruiting" bodies we call mushrooms
  • 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 provided many opportunities to find many mushroom species
  • In addition to learning more about fungal relationships with ourselves and other organisms, there were opportunities to find and cook edible species
  • Participants reviewed the Discovering Mushrooms workshop presentation prior to the trip, many of the photos of mushrooms in this presentation were taken in the Mantario area
  • The second word in the title is "Canoeing" because 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
  • "Mycelium Canoeing" was also a play on "Mycelium Running", an excellent book on mushrooms and fungi authored by Paul Stamets
  • There were opportunities to learn and practice 18 posture qigong and perhaps explore development of affirmations (which aid in resolving personal issues)
  • The trip to Mantario cabin started at Big Whiteshell Lake and included paddling via Ritchey Lake, One Lake, Two Lake, Three Lake and then Mantario Lake with a portage between each of these lakes over which the canoes and personal and shared gear were 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. The trip required a reasonable level of fitness and is a challenge, even for seasoned canoe trippers. Thankfully, there iss a sauna and a cabin available to recoup from the typically 5 to 7 hour trip. The trip back to Big Whiteshell Lake was 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.

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

Following is a partial list of Kingdom Fungi species Donna has foraged, 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)