You can't beat great light that works for what you want to shoot. For something like the picture you have against the sky, midday is the right choice with the most amount of available light. That deep rich blue would be on a day after a good rain or storm that clears the particulate out of the air mass.
I find when shooting structure, early morning is nice light to shoot in as the sun cast long deep shadows that add contrast when you've got the angle with the sun to the object right.
Lastly, the problem with the web is often people have their monitors set to the warmth or coolness that they prefer to look at. So what you see, isn't always what they see. Always try and shoot in the highest resolution you possibly can and reduce it if need be on your computer.
I like the retouched better as you have found a little more brightness in the berries and the wood has just a little more depth to it. Nice subject.