thanks brix, probably the "painting" effect is due to the noise reduction algorithm of the camera (Kodak DX6440), which tends to overprocess a bit. This is a limitation, but sometimes it turns out useful!
It has been further accentuated by the use of NeatImage to remove noise.
I also really like the paint like effect of this pic, and the vastness of the scale it has captured. The two areas of distraction for me is firstly the dark tree branch on the right and the dark area to the bottom left with keeps pulling my eye(less so). The image itself gives such a wonderful impression tho it really is a good photograph to look at.