How to improve your photo
DOF: Lowering your ISO and opening up your aperture will allow you to achieve the shallow DOF (bokeh) so necessary in nature photography. If your lens is fixed f8, again, by lowering the ISO and increasing the shutter speed you should be able to do the same thing.
COLOR: When shooting these early morning scenes try changing your white balance from AWB (auto white balance) to cloudy, or even shade. This will warm up the scene a bit.
Your description states you are not using a tripod. I am wondering if the lack of crispness is focus or camera shake? Even a very slight camera shake would affect the sharpness of our images. Using a tripod or at least a monopod will stabilize the camera.
CROP: This picture could be so much stronger if you cropped it a bit from the top, bottom and left side. Your first choice shout always be to crop in the camera when making the image, but don't hesitate to crop it in post-production to make the image stronger.