I'll give credit for three things which make this picture stand out:
1. The Sky; I love overcast scales, they give a man this openness - this continuous unpredictability that something is going to happen and we will soon have something interesting occurring in this countryside... Some meeting of souls or a redemption of sorts.
2. The quality of the picture; Its incredibly precise. The presentation is well done - the lake, the spine of the wild flora, the stark contrast of the trees with each other and with the other side of the lake. I like that, very nicely kept.
3. Depth: This is a quintessential US pic - its got so many hallmarks, its a western writer's wet dream. Brilliant!