I love my Dad's place, since it's just wonderfully surreal. There's a huge koi pond in the backyard, with all the usual landscaping of water plants and bamboo, but since they also keep chickens, there are roosters wandering through the reeds, looking suspicious, and conversations are punctuated by the occasional crow of a rooster who has seen something that the world needs to be alerted about. The cats are in a state of low-level hostility with one another, but the dogs all get along. (One of the cats is very similar to Ben, in that overmuscled tomcat with nothing to prove sort of way. He looks a lot wilder, though, like if you went far enough back in his genes, you'd find a jaguarundi or something. Not that those can breed with regular cats or anything, but the shape of the head and the eyes and the short dense fur are very...feral.)
I've seen a verdin and a merlin so far, neither of which are lifers, but which are good fun birds to spot through a window.
Ahhh. Vacation good!