When I went out this evening, the cats were looking at the pond, and I remembered that I should give the fish a bit more food since I underfed them the last time, and they had started gnawing on the water plants in earnest. But I looked down through the plants, and there was a huge turtle head--a snapping turtle, that eats fish. So I wrapped up a broom handle with a rag and prodded at it, hoping it would climb out and leave. It just hunkered down between the rocks. Here is it's head:
So J came home, and called the Sheriff's department about "unwanted wildlife" and we got permission to move it to the retaining pond down the street (where it most likely came from), and J got a flat shovel and managed to get the turtle on it, and then into a trash can. The turtle is about 12 inches across the shell.
Then the can, with the turtle, was lifted up, and some local kids and Randy from across the street escorted the turtle to the pond, where it reluctantly clambered out into the weeds. I'm sure it was annoyed to be returned to it's own pond after it's epic journey. (Earlier in the day I had seen it's tail at the bottom of the pond and thought it was a lily leaf that had fallen into the water, and I nearly reached in to pull it out--I am glad I didn't.) Long after the turtle was gone, the gray cat was still watching the pond nervously: