On Labor Day weekend, Mainers’ thoughts inevitably turn to what is equally inevitably drawing closer with each page that is turned on the calendar.

That is, of course, winter.

True, we have lots of bright (though mostly cooler) days and (increasingly crisp) nights to look forward to before then.

Still, the daylight shrinks imperceptibly day by day, until we find ourselves thinking, “Gee, it’s getting dark already?”

Then the first golden or crimson leaf appears (don’t look, but some have turned already) and the reality of autumn will be upon us, in all its glory. But we know it will speed by like a thoroughbred pounding down to the wire, and we will be in November. Again.

And if November comes, December is right on its heels.

With all that in mind, the good folks at the Farmers’ Almanac in Lewiston have released their annual forecast for how much snow and cold (we’re sorry to use four-letter words) we will see as this year dwindles away and the new one knocks on the front door for admittance.

So, what does the almanac (not to be confused with its rival, the Granite State’s Old Farmer’s Almanac) say about the coming winter?

This may be a shock, but Caleb Weatherwise, the Almanac’s pseudonymous predictor, says it will be cold. Oh, and there will be snow.

In fact, the Great Lakes and the Northeast can expect more of both this year than last.

Of course, last winter was fairly mild, as Maine winters go, and these things do go in cycles.

So, it’s time to get the snowblowers serviced and haul the sweaters out of mothballs. What, you say, it’s too early to worry about all that yet?

Your optimism always was one of your most endearing qualities.