blender render, of course; little mirrored, chromish drops, a dupli-spun tree, dupliverted grass from a tutorial I read, and more concentrated fun with textures and alpha blending.
grass tutorial -- http://lib.hel.fi/~basse/blender/tutorials/grass/grass_tut.php
trying to get my chops ready for cussedness' 'The Blood Arcane'. I'm about a third of my way through the book and have three or four scenes to choose from, none of which look anything like this. But hey, every drop of practice. :) There's a "cloth" tutorial on my list, which uses 'proportional editing', which... I need to understand, sooner better than later. I'm sure there's better methods for things (and there's always softbody cloth, but...), but... well... yeah. one step at a time, even if the step is largely lateral.