I second (third? fourth?) the WOW factor! Beautiful.
Regarding the "which do we prefer?" question, I myself prefer the ambient white-lit background because to me it makes the subject look more like "ice" and so gives the entire project more of a winter feel. Yet I still enjoy the patterns of the black-ground pieces, just for their patterns and display, thus I find the whole project to be sensational.
Your creative ideas just go to show the nearly limitless possibilities for macro work, even when snowed-in in winter