This was one of my personal favorites, and had some of the most impressive and unique TG and multi-app work(flow) in it. I think the main thing that let it down is the lighting (and possibly atmosphere, clouds are nice but maybe a bit boring), and the foreground vegetation as you mentioned. Structurally, and in terms of general realism, land forms true to the source material, etc., it is one of the best images I've seen lately, not just from the contest but in general. I encourage you to think about tweaking it a bit further even though the contest is over, or maybe make a derivative image. We're working on some new web content and a gallery update and I could easily see an improved version of this image being a shoo-in.