First is the little saying I was taught as a kid: Leaves of three, let it be. But if you're not shown what those three leaves look like, you think everything in the world is poison ivy. My house is nestled in the woods, and we have black berries everywhere, which also have three leaves. I wanted my kids to be able to distinguish between the two. This first picture here on the left IS poison ivy. Note the three leaves, they are shiny, and it is a vine.
The picture on the right is NOT poison ivy. It is actually part of the black berry bushes that grow right in the same place. The most notable difference between the two is the stem color, and that blackberries have thorns. Poison Ivy does not have thorns. The leaves here are not shiny either, and the stem is grey, not green. Although that's not always the case.
This poor tree's got it tough. Not only is it being crowded by the blackberries, it's got the poison ivy vine hanging on it, and it's got Virginia Creeper on it. Virginia Creeper is commonly mistaken for poison ivy, the biggest difference being that it has five leaves. Where I live, it grows everywhere, I am in Virginia after all. :) This is one nasty that I have to pull off my fence, my deck, it even will grow up the house if I let it. Fun stuff. Anyway, that's my Poison Ivy lesson. I wonder what stuff we'll have to learn together out in Colorado. Is there even stuff like this out there?