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The view from Pass-a-Grille


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The weekend was a cloudy one as a cold front passed through central Florida, but by late Sunday afternoon Rebecca and I decided to head out to see if we could spy the setting sun. Maybe the timing would work out for us, and the trailing edge of the front would come through.

It was my turn to pick the location, and I opted for a stretch in southern Pinellas County called Pass-a-grille, which is one of the communities in St. Pete Beach. We had been there a few times before just knocking around, and it seemed like a good time to revisit it. We were on the cusp of what is known as “The Season”—which is when people from colder climates come to Florida to get out of the snow—and the place would probably be crawling with that odd species known as “the Northern Snow Bird.”

Except it wasn’t. Maybe they’d all been driven indoors by a stiff breeze and cloudy skies. Or maybe they figured it was a better time to hit the bar than the beach.

There were parking spots aplenty, but apparently the meters hadn’t been maintained because nothing I could do would get it to accept my money and issue me a receipt I needed to put on the dashboard. A kindly gentleman who had all the earmarks of being a local told me to just leave the car, that the parking-enforcement people would never come out on such a cold afternoon to write tickets. I trusted him.

Supposedly, the name comes from French fishermen in the area in the mid-19th Century, who’d use this land to grill their catch. The “pass” is an entrance to Boca Ciega Bay, which separates the barrier islands in the area from the mainland.

Just as I was capturing the desolation of a dreary day, a woman walked out onto the pier and into my shot. I was ready to pack it in when I decided that, instead of an intrusion, this was now a new photographic subject.

This couple was also enjoying the sliver of sunset, and with a little positioning across the rocks, I was able to silhouette them against the colors.

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