Thanks for the comments.
Dewi... with regard to the difference in colors. This has mainly to do with the lighting (which is, of course, weather dependent)... a bright sunny day for the first and a gray rainy day for the second. The week interval between the two images may also have something to do with it as well.
Rich... with regard to the sharpening. You are, of course, exactly right! I have relearned two lessons (so far) with this one post.
Lesson #1... don't be in such a rush. I seem to have to relearned this lesson on a regular basis... patience is not one of my strong suits!
Lesson #2... the order one does things in Photoshop does indeed matter. This is also a relearned lesson but in a new context! The original files look fine on my screen but, as you say, the downsized files I originally posted were way too sharp.
New versions are posted below. The difference? The order of the steps I used to prepare the jpegs for posting.
For the images I posted originally, I duplicated the image (a psd file, using Smart Filters, including one for sharpening), re-sized the file down to 900 pixels (from roughly 3,500) on the long side, flattened and saved as a jpeg. In doing this, the Smart filers reprocess the image after the downsize... leading to the oversharpening.
If I flatten the image before re-sizing and saving as a jpeg, I get the results shown here:
I trust that you will find these better, but please do let me know what you think.
--- Frank (www.gorga.org/blog