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A girl for all seasons - spectacular contrast between winter and summer in Yakutia

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10 July 2018


A picture of Anastasia Gruzdeva, 25, in deep winter with frost eyelashes went viral: now she shows her summer look, covered in mosquitoes. Picture: Anastasia Gruzdeva

The ice has all gone but now Anastasia’s face is covered in dozens of mosquitoes. 

In winter, at her regional capital in Yakutsk, temperatures  can plunge to around minus 60C - but in summer they can hit the 30C or higher, bringing the insect peril.

‘The picture was made in seconds,’  said Anastasia from a village called Solnechny, which means ‘sunny'.

‘After taking it, I just jumped on the bicycle and rushed away. In fact, you do not feel them so much on your face. More sensitive are the legs, arms and back. 

‘So for a few seconds, I can endure this. Mind you, I have a sudden thought: can they bite me to death?'

Anastasia Gruzdeva


Anastasia went out into the fields and found 61 of these insects buzzing her. 

Her republic Yakutia, also known as Sakha republic and world famous for diamonds, has larger temperatures ranges than anywhere on Earth. 

For example, Verkhoyansk thermometers have yo-yoed as much as 105øC or 188øF between seasons, namely  -68øC (-90øF) to 37øC (98øF).

The winter picture of the wedding shop worker won admirers the world over.  

The winter picture of the wedding shop worker won admirers the world over. 

‘My family make jokes about it time to time, saying something like 'you're a star now’,’ she said.

'Of course I didn't expect anything like that to happen.’ 

Her home village is called Solnechny (which means 'sunny') in Ust-Maysky district.

Going out in the summer sun has it’s problems too, as she shows. 

From May until September mosquitoes can be a real headache for locals.

Anastasia went out into the fields and found 61 of these insects buzzing her.

Comments (7)

Very nice, picture of Anstasia. Those mosquito are not biting you ?
S. Raghavendra Rao, India
26/09/2021 00:22
Anastasia: Standing still for the photograph with those mosquitoes is impressive. Summer here is hard with mosquitoes as well, Your picture contrasts are very nice- you should make a calendar with the seasons. I hope to visit there someday.
Stay safe.
Brian Erdrich, Anchorage, Alaska
08/10/2018 00:28
I can relate to the mosquitos coming from Florida, but couldn't even fathom the winters. Thanks for sharing!
DNich, FL, USA
16/07/2018 00:24
Thank you for sharing
Joan, Waterford Works NJ USA
13/07/2018 05:12
Hi Anastasia, I love your spirit and your pictures. Hi Benedikt, do you know what is in the evil-smelling cream? Or is is top-secret? I would really like to know the ingredients if it was made locally by an experienced Siberiak. I have used tea tree oil which has a pine-tar type smell. Nothing (and nobody) seems to come near with that on...:-).
Pamela K Tetarenko, League City, USA
12/07/2018 05:12
and these are SMALL- beasties-. they also have much bigger ones.... (I was working there. I got from a Siberiak an evil-smelling cream. Nothing was biting me anymore..)
Benedikt MORAK, Moscow
11/07/2018 05:58
Great photographs but on a concerned note has this young woman had the pigmented moles particularly the one in her shoulder checked out. I feel anxious about the way particularly that one looks. I hope someone who knows how to contact her feels they can pass this on. Kindest regards
M Polak, UK
11/07/2018 03:46

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