Thank you for the comments Tony and Jeremy. I am not that good at PP and the critique helps. I had selected "auto" on the curves tool, which gave the dark foreground. Started over with the original and tried doing it on my own this time. The noise problem I don't know? Aperture does have a noise reduction tool, but it just doesn't seem to do anything. At least not with this photo. I was using a Nikon D7000 with the ISO at 640 and f9 to get 1/60sec at 66mm on a 18-105mm Nikon lens.
I have to confess next to no knowledge of how Aperture works in any useful detail.
I certainly have a pretty good grasp of Lightroom and how to massage an image like yours.
The only way to learn is to experiment, in fact do wacky things with the image - just to see what happens.
Ideas will come.
Even those who are acknowledged experts in postprocessing make discoveries now and then.
For those who aren't there yet almost daily discoveries await if one is prepared to give it a whirl.
The baseline image is good enough to be a real winner with the right tweaks.