I'll have to confess the longer I look at them the better I like the B&W.
Me too. I think the B&W version captures the quality of the light more effectively. This shot, which, btw, I like very much, is really about form and light. B&W is a better interpretation of the scene, in my opinon. The low values in the foreground tree are awesome. I don't feel that color really adds to it.