These are definately the originals. We have weird grass where I live though, and it does get some strange colors, especially with the abnormal weather we have been having. I have, however, been practicing my digital editing skills and have posted an edited image of the picture we have all been looking at, and I think it looks a lot better after I mess with it a little.
I am disturbed to here that you think your kit lens is better. Shouldn't they all be the same? How much variation can there be in two lenses that are supposed to be the same? Is it possible for you to post somewhere some files taken with your lens so I can take a look at them?