More than once in the past I have cheerfully ripped off your ideas (the nightflasher, for example) and I might be able to repay in part the debt I owe with a piece of low-tech, low-cost cunning. Gum a cigarette paper over the flash on your 600D (I assume you're using its pop-up flash) to attenuate the very harsh shadows and highlights it creates. That sunset tone is so charming it would be nice to enjoy it and that greenery in some harmony.
As it stands, I rather prefer the first, but I need the second to understand the ominously hairy silhouette in No. 1.
I tried this not too long ago and am interested to read Stefan's suggestion as I felt mine also turned out with TOO much flash. What IS that hairy thing? I'm thinking it's not something we have here but I like it and suspect it has lots of photography possibilities!