One of the things that makes shooting in the deep south (USA) is the green. I realize that in most places on earth where there are forests, there is green, but where we vary in that regard is the amount, and variety of green, given that most of where I live is just a little short of a boreal jungle.
Once, for an art project when I was in college, using a reflectance meter, we were instructed by our painting teacher to find as many different shades and tints of green in a six foot by six foot area (2 meters sq?) right out the back door of the studio. Then, of course, we had to recreate those colors and paint the scene. I filled the entire spectrum of my spotmeter and had to begin improvising visually from there. It was an exercise in futility, but we silly freshmen didn't figure it out for a few days.
The area in this photograph is substantially further north than where I live and it has been quite cultivated but even so, take a visual count of the variation of greens in this scene and one can begin to see the difficulty of shooting these shots in colour as opposed to B&W. This is why I chose to go to B&W even before I made the shot. It was the metering which was so difficult, even shooting on a 6-stop bracket. I blended layers rather than HDR as that is a technique I do not yet fully understand as per the dynamic range and thus the control. I will.
In my blend, I did no sharpening until the end. I did use a fair amount of contrast control and varying exposure levels intermixed with several visits to SEP. The final sharpening was quite moderate and I tend toward using a High Pass sharpening method of 3.0 and blending in soft at 80% opacity. Everything I do is a technique in progress, ever evolving.
Thanks so much for all the wonderful comments and suggestions. Everything helps, even when I do not agree because it makes me go back and dissect my image at each stage (I save every stage as a PSD until I am absolutely print happy with the end product, then I discard all but the last three edits). This is a wonderful forum in that at the very least, it makes you think.