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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!

May 11, 2024

Welcome to The Backyard Naturalists, the show about anything and everything connected with nature.



In this captivating episode, hosts Debbie and Laurie, along with guests Jay and Chris, delve deep into the buzzing world of cicadas. The conversation takes listeners on a journey through the recent cicada emergence, exploring not just the cacophonous sounds they produce but also their ecological significance and cultural impact. From sharing audio clips of cicada choruses in local greenways to discussing the surprising culinary adventures some have with cicadas, this episode leaves no cicada stone unturned.



The hosts recount their own encounters with cicadas, from the loud chorus disrupting outdoor activities to the awe-inspiring sight of these insects emerging en masse after years underground. They delve into the fascinating life cycle of periodical cicadas, explaining the difference between the 13 and 17-year broods and why this particular emergence is a rare spectacle worth noting.



Special guest Jay Bell adds a flavorful twist to the discussion by sharing his experiences cooking and eating cicadas. He describes how he enjoys them fried in olive oil with simple seasonings, likening their taste to almonds—a surprising culinary revelation for many listeners.



The episode also touches on the broader implications of cicada emergences, such as their role in ecosystem dynamics and their contribution to scientific research. Listeners are encouraged to share their own cicada sightings, recordings, and photos on social media or by contacting the podcast, fostering a community of cicada enthusiasts eager to document this remarkable natural phenomenon.



Whether you're a seasoned cicada observer or new to their fascinating world, this episode of The Backyard Naturalists is sure to pique your curiosity and inspire you to appreciate the intricate interconnectedness of nature. Join the conversation, share your cicada stories, and let's celebrate this extraordinary cicada season together!



If you have ideas for topics that you'd like us to pursue, send us a message either on our Facebook page or our website. We would really like to hear from you.



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.