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Butterfly Smashed Grill

Updated on June 17, 2018
LillyGrillzit profile image

Snapshots of the evolution of environmental and work safety regulations and the reason why.

Combustion Engines - Manifest Destiny Over Nature

The advent of the combustion engine, the automobile is a construct of death and destruction for many species. Left unchecked, it may contribute to the end of all living things.

Butterfly Grill

Just a taste of what ends up on the grill
Just a taste of what ends up on the grill | Source

Flying Down The Road in Our Chevy...

In 1964, there were approximately 85 thousand automobiles owned and registered in the United States.*

In that year a Corvette cost a little under $5,000.00. Considering inflation and the price index, that was equal to about $23,000.00** today.

My dad was a long-distance truck driver from 1959 to 1979. His living kept him traveling from coast to coast. He drove high-risk loads, hauling a B-Double and sometimes a B-Triple loaded trailer. (Two or three trailers hitched to a truck).

After scrimping and saving, in 1960, he bought a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air. It had fins and a bubble style body.

As a kid, it seemed like the inside of the Bel Air had room enough for our family of four to travel spaciously. My sister was a baby, so my mother would usually hold her for short trips to the store and such. There were no seatbelts. No safety regulations were requiring infant car seats.

The excitement of having a new car or a car at all was heady.

My Dad was proud and could not wait to take us all on a road trip down Route 66.

He wanted us to see the wonders of "Will Rogers Highway", the Grand Canyon, and the many Native American shops along the route.

** The History of Route 66

Route 66 - Chuck Berry

Getting Ready to Roll

When we were getting ready for our famous Route 66 Road Trip in 1964, we packed lunches in a basket and a cooler. My sister who was just born, was loaded in, bassinette and all. They just folded the wooden legs in, and wedged her between the seats.

Things like safety rules for driving with kids, and seatbelts were not on the horizon yet. There was no E.P.A., and we thought that the planet was there for us, our pleasure and exploration.

My parents smoking cigarettes in a closed up car, was never considered neglectful or harmful. Humans did not have the understanding of how environment and biodiversity were affected by humans, and effected human life.

Once we started on our 2700 mile trip, I cannot remember anything on the inside of the car. If I was not asleep, I was looking out of the windows. I could stand up in the backseat and view a vast panorama out of the windows of that old car.

Route 66 From Helendale to Barstow - YouTube by BackRoadsWest1

Killing Essential Pollinators by the Thousands

My father felt it was better to start driving in the late afternoon, so that when we hit the desert; from Lake Arrowhead, CA heading east, it was getting dark. I remember the pelting of bugs and other critters on the windshields, and even the doors and body of the car.

After about 5 hours, Dad's Bel Air started running hot. We had to pull off and check the radiator, and anything else that could be causing steam to come out from the hood.

Once we pulled off into a truck rest area, I followed my Dad around to the front of the car. There were so many butterflies, moths, and other winged things mashed into the grill of the car that it made it impossible for the car cooling radiator to work.

It took quite a while, but we finally got the detritus removed from the grill of my Dad's car.

Back then there was not as much speed enforcement, and the topic of maximum speeds was one being argued continually by the Federal Bureau of Transportation, and each State. The main idea was to keep slow moving vehicles from impeding fast moving cars, and keeping them from crashing into one another.

The idea that fast moving cars were killing millions of pollinators has probably still not occurred to any regulatory agency.

I cannot help but think of all of the years of cleaning winged bodies off of grills, and off of the radiators. I am ashamed of the years of speeding down the roads, careless to the other living things surrounding us, that did not get the memo to stay clear of the highways.

As a rider and driver, the vehicles I have powered, have caused harm to our eco-system

I never again want to walk around to the front of my car, and see a Butterfly Grill.

Pedal To The Metal

We put the pedal to the metal not giving one thought about moths, butterflies or other sacred pollinators.

How many owls, bluebirds or sparrows got swallowed along the miles.

Less Than 40 Years Ago - Monarch Butterfly Migration Map

by David Munro, student in Geography 316, Fall 1999. Source: Urquhart (1987)
by David Munro, student in Geography 316, Fall 1999. Source: Urquhart (1987) | Source

The Monarch's Spring Migration: A Race Against Time

Images copyright Journey North. All Rights Reserved.
Images copyright Journey North. All Rights Reserved. | Source

Roadkill, Butterfly Grill

One of the things which prompted me to write on this subject is the declining populations of pollinators.

Most people do not really want to know the truth about life on earth and how biodiversity is crumbling.

Our oceans are no longer an optimum habitat for aquatic life, we have 0% clean water left on the planet, and when all of the pollinators are gone, we will follow shortly thereafter.

Why write about it? Because I know that it would not take much for us to turn things around. Every one good thing we do for our planet and species makes an enormous difference. We can all create habitat for critters, and we can slow down to keep from killing the bigger winged creatures like owls and hawks that are becoming extinct.

Monarch Watch Numbers

NUMBERS Monarch populations are measured as the number of hectares (1 hectare = 2.47 acres) of trees occupied by clustering butterflies in mid-December of each year. The size of the population has varied from 2.19 to 18.2 hectares over the last two decades; averaging close to 9 hectares in the 90s and between 5-6 hectares in this decade.

Monarch Butterfly Migration - 2013

There is an alarming drop in numbers, part of what can be attributed to Bio-Engineered Corn. In 1999 53% of Monarchs who pollinated in GMO Corn died.
There is an alarming drop in numbers, part of what can be attributed to Bio-Engineered Corn. In 1999 53% of Monarchs who pollinated in GMO Corn died. | Source

Road Kill

What do you think about Road Kill?

See results

Monarchs by the Millions by Great Big Story

© 2014 Lori J Latimer


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    • LillyGrillzit profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori J Latimer 

      5 years ago from Central Oregon

      Thank you for giving this a read. Our world has been completely changed by the advent of the automobile. Thank you Peachpurple

    • peachpurple profile image


      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      wow, i have never seen or heard such a huge number of butterflies. Thanks

    • LillyGrillzit profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori J Latimer 

      6 years ago from Central Oregon

      Genna East, thank you for the read, and comment.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Lilly. I agree with both you and Ruby in that slowing down never hurt anyone, and is a very good idea! Very interesting hub. :-)

    • LillyGrillzit profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori J Latimer 

      6 years ago from Central Oregon

      always exploring Thank you for the gracious welcome back, and your own experience with these precious critters.

    • LillyGrillzit profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori J Latimer 

      6 years ago from Central Oregon

      salleybea I appreciate your comments. I am glad that you liked the presentation. It has been rolling around in my head for a while,

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Your hub is a plea to slow down and save critters. I admire that very much. It also brought back memories when i was a child, butterflies were everywhere, now i only see a few. I am an avid hummingbird feeder. I never thought they would ever disappear. Thank's Lilly. Good to see you back on HP...

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      6 years ago from Norfolk

      LillyGrillzit - As someone who spends a great deal of my time photographing butterflies and other insects I am si glad you have chosem to highlight their declining numbers in this way. Thank you so very much.

      Kind regards,



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