Punxsutawney Phil, the famous Pennsylvania groundhog and meteorologist, didn’t see his shadow when he popped his head out of his cozy tree stump the other day, which supposedly means winter will be over soon.

Let us hope.

Unfortunately, one of Phil’s spokesmen — weather-predicting groundhogs generally need at least one spokesman to articulate their prognostications — confessed after trumpeting the welcome forecast of an early spring that the prediction was not “site-specific.”

Which is to say that neither Phil nor anyone else knows exactly which part or parts of the country and/or world will be blessed with the much-coveted early spring.

Could be anywhere, but almost certainly won’t be everywhere.

Would it be too much to ask that when Phil looked in vain for his shadow, he saw instead a warming vision of melting snow and sunny days in Maine?

OK, we know. It’s not good form to complain about winter weather in the Pine Tree State. Mainers are hardy souls; frigid temperatures and snow-packed hillsides are an industry in Maine, not an aggravation.

Newcomers, in fact, are often amused by an expression they hear from longtime residents: “If you can’t take the winters, you don’t deserve the summers.”

They’re amused, that is, until they find out the hard way what a painfully accurate statement it is.

So a harsh winter is old hat, albeit a fur-lined hat, to Maine people. But we have to say it: The winter of 2011 has gotten out of hand.

No, our roads aren’t strewn with buried cars and trucks at the moment, like we’ve seen in those eerie pictures of deserted, unplowed Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.

And, so far at least, we haven’t suffered a statewide epidemic of ice-encrusted power lines like the ones that have left other regions of the country shivering in the dark.

What we have endured, however, is a relentless if intermittent onslaught of snowstorms that has tried our patience, sapped our energy and reduced us to screaming at no one in particular: “Enough!”

Even the toughest, winter-resilient Mainers are saying it. Just give us a break. A week without snow. A few days of above-freezing temperatures to melt down the nature-made drifts and the man-made mounds of frozen white powder.

Just a breather, that’s all we ask. Just some time to think about something other than bundling up and shoveling out.

So, Punxsutawney Phil, was your prediction of an early spring a meteorological mirage, or a clarion call meant for frostbitten ears in Maine?

Let us hope.