OAKVILLE, Ont. - Valentine's, romance, mating rituals and ... porcupines.

It's a combination designed to appeal to nature lovers — especially those curious about the sex lives of all things prickly and furry — at Bronte Creek Provincial Park in Oakville, west of Toronto.

This year to mark Valentine's, park officials decided to spice things up with their first "adults-only" hike.

Sheila Wiebe, park programming specialist, says she'll lead participants through the woods Feb. 11 on a nighttime hike while explaining exactly what animals native to southern Ontario get up to in the dark (or light, as the case may be).

The content is not suitable for youngsters, says Wiebe. Take porcupines, for example.

"They do have a bit of a weird courtship or foreplay, we'll call it. ... And she (the female) is insatiable."

And as for "that age-old question" about how porcupines mate, Wiebe says: "very carefully."

Also interesting are the park's "mate-munchers," notably the female midge — "a little mosquitoey-type thing."

"It looks as though the female and the male are kissing, but what is actually happening is the female is sucking the brains or sucking the life basically out of the male."

Admission to the park is $16 per vehicle. A slide-show with possibly graphic images precedes the hike. For more details, call 905-827-6911.

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