Rob Sheppard asked:
You have found an interesting area of roots and trees. The cropping to a more panoramic format is interesting, too. A challenge you are facing here is a common challenge of photographers. We see subjects; the camera does not. In fact, the camera could care less about the subject. It only cares about what is light and dark. In this case, you saw a very interesting pattern of tree roots and trees. The camera saw something different -- it saw the pattern of light. Tonal or brightness contrasts will always trump anything else in a composition because the eye always is attracted to bright areas. The spotty light across the roots and the bright path or stream in the background create the structure of the image for the viewer and because they do not emphasize the important parts of the subject, they make the image confusing.