I find that I prefer landscape orientation, unless there is a vertical element that has significance. I'm assuming you were trying to show the clouds in the sky, which is nice. But possibly with a lower PoV and angling up you could have expanded the horizon as well as get the sky Just a thought.
Where in NC did you take this? I live near Raleigh, but plan on moving near Asheville this spring.
I'm bumping this because in my untrained opinion, I think #1 is a excellent shot; the only improvement I can think of is perhaps a very small foreground object or perhaps lowering the camera height close to the ground to gain some of rock/dirt/lichins you were standing on.