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Two Parrots In A Corn Bin
A pair of giant wood parrots, perched inside an old ear corn crib, catch the eye of anyone driving on County Road 29 near Lewiston, Minn.
  The cage appears to be held up in the air by a giant candy cane that's painted red and white, with rope Christmas lights wrapped around it at 1 1/2-ft. intervals. Icycle Christmas lights hang down from the bin's roof.
  "My brother Ron and I came up with the idea together several years ago. We just wanted to have a little fun, but it quickly turned into a local landmark. Ron made the parrots and I made the candy cane," says Jim Schloegel. "A lot of local bus tours come by during the Christmas season to see it."
  The crib measures 14 ft. in diameter and is 20 ft. high to the top of the roof. It was originally located on a neighbor's farm one mile away. They moved the crib off its original cement floor, then put a system of posts and planks under the crib and skidded it down the road to their farm.
  "We worked on it weekends and nights. The entire project took several months to do," says Jim.
  The cane is made from four 9-ft. long conditioner rolls off a New Holland haybine. Jim cut off both ends of each roll and used a handheld LP flame thrower to heat the inside of the roll to loosen the rubber so he could pull it off and then weld the rolls together end to end.
  To make the bend in the cane, he cut slots into one roll and then used a ratchet and chain to pull the roll's ends together until the bend was complete. Then he welded the slots back together.
  The candy cane is held in place by a box framework - made from seven more hay conditioner rolls - that runs under the crib and supports it at six points. "The framework is made in such a way that I can move the cane around and even mow under it," says Jim.
  The parrots measure more than 8 ft. long and each was made from an 8-ft. sheet of plywood. Each parrot has a small hook attached to it and is held upright by a pair of guide wires that extend through the bin.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jim Schloegel, 28920 County Road 29, Lewiston, Minn. 55952 (ph 507 458-4034; jieschloegel@yahoo.com).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #5