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The Backyard Naturalists podcasts is geared toward nature lovers of all kinds, from beginners to those with more experience. We have a very diverse lineup of topics planned for you, such as  what you can do in your own yard to enhance the habitat for the creatures who live there, participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count as a citizen scientist, using native plants, which snakes live in our area,  how to attract specific birds, common and uncommon raptors in the greater Charlotte region, spring and fall migration season for birds, plants for butterflies and much more!

Mar 9, 2024

Welcome to The Backyard Naturalists, the captivating podcast that delves into the wonders of nature! Broadcasting across 115 countries, all 50 states, and throughout the picturesque Carolinas, our show has garnered acclaim, including the prestigious Best of the Weeklies award from the readers of the Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly.


In this episode, we’re joined by the remarkable Lenny Lampel, a seasoned natural resources supervisor at Mecklenburg County Parks and Rec. Lenny wears another hat too: he’s a Central Carolina’s Master Naturalist. His and Debbie’s paths intertwined years ago when they were part of the inaugural graduating class.


Cicadas, those enigmatic insects, take center stage today. Their appearance is anything but ordinary—large, chunky, and with a distinct short body. But it’s their song that truly captivates. Imagine describing a cicada to someone who’s never encountered one—their buzzing, their rhythmic chorus. These creatures span the globe, their presence felt in every corner.


What ignites the collective fascination with cicadas? Lenny’s take is simple: “It’s fascinating.” Even the periodical cicadas, part of the magical genus known as “Magic Cicada”, evoke wonder. Whether you’re a seasoned nature enthusiast or a casual observer, cicadas demand attention.


And here’s the twist: 2024 is a special year. We’re witnessing the simultaneous emergence of two distinct broods of periodical cicadas. These remarkable insects are exclusive to the eastern and central United States, nowhere else on Earth. Researchers are on the edge of their seats, eager to witness the unfolding drama.


So, dear listeners, whether you’re sipping coffee in Charlotte, hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains, or strolling along the Carolina coast, join us as we explore the secret lives of cicadas. It’s a symphony of wings, a tale of survival, and a reminder that nature’s wonders are always in concert.


Connect with the Backyard Naturalists on the Web, Facebook and Instagram.


Please visit and support our presenting sponsor, Backyard Birds at A mecca for bird lovers and bird watchers, Backyard Birds is an independent family-owned business located in Matthews, NC (next to Dairy Queen), just southeast of Charlotte.


Thanks for listening to The Backyard Naturalists.  We hope you have a day filled with the wonders of nature. Get outside and take a walk on the wild side! Please don’t forget to leave a 5-star review for The Backyard Naturalists podcast.


Production services for The Backyard Naturalists podcast are provided by Downtown Podcasting. To start a conversation on how you can have a podcast, simply send an email to


While recording the Backyard Naturalists podcast, Debbie and Laurie enjoy coffee provided by the Good Cup Coffee Company  in Matthews, North Carolina. Follow Good Cup Coffee on Instagram and look for them at the Matthews Community Farmer’s Market  this Saturday morning.